Superintendent’s Response to Parkland, Florida

We have suffered another national tragedy with the horrific school shooting in Florida. I think I speak for all of us that our prayers go out to the Parkland, Florida community. Once again, teachers shielded students from the madness and have earned further respect for what is done each and every day. Enough cannot be said about the devotion and love shown by so many teachers and staff members to their students.

I often get asked what MCSD is doing to prevent an event like yesterday. Our district has taken steps in the area of providing additional mental health services through on-site therapists and family navigator support. We have added guidance counselors and will try and increase that FTE again next year. The district has added personnel in the at-risk area to provide more support for students that may be left out of the mainstream. We have continued to make physical plant changes that increase security.

The best strategy for safety is to remain vigilant in our classrooms, schools, and community. The adage “if you see something, say something” is an important part of preventing a tragedy. The answers to this problem are complex as they seem to be a societal problem. Mental health, emotional dysfunction, anger, and isolation seem to be a real part of our world today. Schools cannot fix our nation’s ills. However, I think I speak for all educators, we are willing to be active partners in addressing how we can reclaim our student’s childhoods from those that would steal it through terror.

If a teacher or parent has a student that is troubled or concerned about the Florida incident, please inform your principal or counselor. Together we are stronger, safer, and healthier. Together we can take care of each other and those most in need.

Jerry Riibe, Superintendent


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