Feb 23, 2018

Informational Session On School Safety Tuesday

Safet Pickerington Info, February 27, 7 p.m., North PAC

The following open letter to the community is from Superintendent Chris Briggs

Dear Pickerington Parents,

School safety has been at the forefront of our minds in Pickerington Schools this week. We have dealt with a few issues in our buildings – as well as numerous rumors that have proven to be false – and this has heightened concerns by our students, parents, and district staff.

I understand.

Like you, I am also a parent, and my children’s safety is paramount to me. While I wish that we did not live in a society where incidents like those in Florida, Sandy Hook, and Columbine occur, that is not our reality. It is more important than ever for our schools, our parents, and our community to work in partnership on behalf of our children.

We know parents have a lot of questions right now about what the district is doing to keep our kids safe and what roles parents can play as partners with the schools.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, we will present Safe Pickerington, an informational session where parents can learn about safety in Pickerington Schools. The event will be streamed on Livestream. This one-hour presentation at the Pickerington High School North PAC will include:

  • an overview by me, Superintendent Chris Briggs, about school security, recent issues we have had in our buildings, and what steps we are taking as a district to provide the safest educational environments possible;
  • information and advice from our partners at Pickerington Police Department, Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, and Pickerington Fire Department;
  • a look at some of the safety and security measures we have in place in our buildings, as well as an overview of what kind of training and drills we provide to our staff and students;
  • information on how to help children manage issues and the resulting anxiety; and
  • advice for parents about the roles they can play in partnering with the schools to ensure our children are safe.

This program is free and open to our community, and I encourage you to attend.

For now, I urge every parent to sit down with their children this weekend. Talk to them. Listen to them. Speak with them about “See Something, Say Something.” Encourage them to reach out to you and to school officials if they know someone who needs help.

Remind your children that if they have concerns or ever feel unsafe, they should contact any member of our school district staff for help.

Log in to your children’s social media accounts, photo streams, and text messages. Be proactive, and make this a priority. So many of the tragedies that have occurred in our schools nationwide have had warning signs, and being involved in your children’s social media is an important role for parents.

And remember, your children will take many of their cues from you as parents. I know this has been a stressful week, but it is our job as adults to be a calming, reassuring influence in our children’s lives.

We are always open to ideas and feedback from our community. We have created a dedicated, non-emergency email address (safeschools@plsd.us) to which parents and students can contact Pickerington Schools with general questions and suggestions about safety in our district. Urgent concerns should, of course, be brought to the immediate attention of a building administrator or law enforcement.

In closing, let me take a few minutes to thank the dedicated staff members of our district who have managed several challenging issues in our schools this week with professionalism and dedication.

Thank you to those students who took the message of “See Something, Say Something” to heart, bringing issues to our attention that we were able to quickly address.

And thank you to all our parents, who have expressed support and concerns. Together, we can continue to ensure our schools – and our children – are given a world-class education in a safe learning environment.

This must be a unified effort, and now, more than ever, I think it’s safe to say, “We are Pickerington.”


Chris Briggs