Dear Lower Merion School District Community,
By now you have likely heard about the horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday afternoon, in which 19 elementary students and two adults were killed by a gunman. This shooting has shaken our nation to its core and our hearts are heavy.
We are sensitive to the stress, anxiety and fear that this tragedy may cause for many in our school community. Our District's top priority is the safety, security and wellbeing of our students and staff. LMSD administrators work collaboratively with Township and County authorities on emergency safety simulations and reinforcing our preparations. These preparations, along with ongoing vigilance and reporting by members of our school community, are vital to maintaining safety in our schools.
Some of ongoing safety and security procedures are:
- A variety of active security measures, including locked exterior doors, security guards who check ID at school entrances, video surveillance, alarms and campus security personnel. In recent years, we have added fencing and gates, additional cameras and improved locking devices on classroom doors.
- A comprehensive emergency operations plan guides our response to emergency situations at the District and school level. Staff are trained to implement emergency procedures and participate in practice drills throughout the year. Students receive training as well, including participation lockdown drills during the year. In fact, Lower Merion High School was taking part in a scheduled lockdown drill around the same time the incident in Texas occurred.
- All classrooms have a quick-reference, crisis response guide that covers situations ranging from kidnapping and assaults to medical emergencies and mass casualties.
- The District and local law enforcement have a very strong partnership. Law enforcement personnel regularly participate in the review of our security and emergency procedures.
We have also dedicated numerous resources to students' mental and emotional health. The District is available to support impacted individuals and families through our school counselors, psychologists and other professional staff. Resources that may be helpful to parents and guardians in discussing this incident with children can be found on the District's website. Please remind your students that school counselors, administrators, teachers and other staff are also there to support them. And remember that anyone in our community can report concerns using the LMSD Reporting Form or the Safe2Say Something anonymous tip line.
Please know that LMSD shares your concerns in light of this most recent incident of gun violence in a school. We will continue to do what we can to make our schools safe and supportive learning communities. Feel free to contact your school principal or your child's school counselor if you have any questions or would like additional information.
Khalid N. Mumin, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools