Kettering superintendent: Students, parents need to stay alert, report strange behavior

L. Scott Inskeep, superintendent of Kettering City Schools. DEANGELO BYRD/STAFF
Caption
L. Scott Inskeep, superintendent of Kettering City Schools. DEANGELO BYRD/STAFF

Credit: DEANGELO BYRD/STAFF

Credit: DEANGELO BYRD/STAFF

Wednesday’s deadly school shooting in Florida is a “stark reminder of the issues facing our country and our schools,” wrote Kettering City Schools Superintendent Scott Inskeep in an email to parents and students Thursday.

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Inskeep stressed the importance for students and parents to remain both observant for strange behavior and alert to strange social media posts. He also encouraged students to take school safety drills seriously.

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“While I cannot promise that what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will never happen here in Kettering, Ohio, I am confident that if we all commit to listening and learning when we conduct these safety drills, we can mitigate the outcome, in the unlikely event that something like this were to happen here in our district,” he wrote.

Here is the full email: 

From: "Ketteringcity School District"

Date: February 15, 2018 at 2:14:14 PM EST

Subject: Message from the Superintendent -- re: School Shooting in Florida 

Dear Members of the KCS Community:

The school shooting yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida is an absolute tragedy. Our prayers go out to the families, friends and co-workers of the students and staff members who lost their lives in this senseless act of violence.

This shooting is a stark reminder of the issues facing our country and our schools, as we all mourn the loss of lives in yet another school shooting.

We can never know exactly what is going on in a person's mind and what prompts an individual to open fire on innocent people. Could this shooting in Florida have been prevented? This is a question that will undoubtedly be debated for weeks and months to come. What we can do is use this awful tragedy as a "teachable" moment in our own school district.

First and foremost: If you observe something that doesn't seem right, if you hear a comment or conversation that doesn't sound right, if you witness behavior that doesn't look right or if you see something on social media that is concerning,...please say something. Contact your child's principal, counselor or teacher. Contact me. Just please do not be afraid to speak up!

I can promise you that we will confidentially look into any and all comments and concerns that we receive from students and adults. We will not overreact and we will not make assumptions about an individual without investigating completely, but make no mistake, we will take the information you share with us seriously.

Parents/Guardians: Please take the time to remind your students of this very important action that we can all take to help make our schools as safe as possible.

Secondly: Please underscore with your children the importance of taking the safety drills that we conduct in all of our buildings seriously. While I cannot promise that what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will never happen here in Kettering, Ohio, I am confident that if we all commit to listening and learning when we conduct these safety drills, we can mitigate the outcome, in the unlikely event that something like this were to happen here in our district.

You will find a reminder as to how to use our district wide Safety Tipline by clicking here. Please review this resource with your children. I am also sharing a document put out by the National Association of Elementary School Principals titled "Helping Children Cope with Tragedy," that you may find helpful. Please click here to access the document.

Sadly, the shooting in Florida is a constant reminder that evil lurks among us. Our faiths and beliefs are tested during these difficult times. If any of our students feel the need to talk with someone about this tragedy, please encourage him/her to seek out his/her counselor, principal or teacher. And please keep the families and friends of those who lost their lives yesterday in your thoughts.

As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions,

Scott Inskeep

Superintendent