By Bill Short
The Millington Municipal School System will soon distribute information to parents regarding ways they can help ensure the safety and security of students and staff.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of the school system, said it is “keenly aware” of the concern that the recent mass shooting in a Parkland, Fla., high school “brings to the forefront” for everyone.
Because safety is the administration’s “No. 1 concern,” he said it has conducted “brainstorming” conversations to make sure staff members have a “common understanding” of certain “procedures in place” if an emergency situation occurs.
Roper made the comments Monday night during the school board’s regular monthly meeting.
Without discussing all the “specifics” involved, he said one component is the information that will be sent to the parents or guardians of every student enrolled in the school district.
The administration will ask them to work with it in talking with their children and helping enable it to take every possible step to “head off” anything that might occur.
“We understand that you can’t just look the other way and hope that bad things won’t happen,” Roper noted. “That will not work in this day and time.”
One thing the administration will communicate to the parents is to say something if they see something. “We can no longer take the approach of saying, ‘I’m not going to get in my child’s business,’” Roper noted. “We’d better be in our children’s business.”
The administration will specifically ask parents to “monitor” the things their children are doing and to notify it if they see or hear something that “bothers” them.
And they will also be asked to “strike a fine line” between being a parent and “enough of a buddy” that their children will talk with them about any concerns.
Roper said there will be “multiple ways” for students and staff members to make those concerns known.
“Some may have to do it anonymously,” he acknowledged. “But we’ll have provisions for that to be done.”
Roper also noted that the administration is trying to have “a little bit of a culture shift” among the children, who occasionally think it is not “cool” to say they saw someone do something that bothered them.
“The cool thing is to say something if you see something,” he concluded. “If you want to survive, that’s what you need to do.”
By Bill Short