Districts offer safety assurances after Uvalde
By Lisa Brody
After the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, the Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills school districts offered more than thoughts and prayers, they let families know they have been taking security and mental health steps to protect students.
Birmingham Superintendent Dr. Embekka Roberson wrote to school families in an email, “I want to acknowledge that while we are supporting your children at school, you too may be struggling as a family. Therefore, this email is a reminder of the support we have regarding safety and mental health for our community.”
During March and April, the district had two key presentations. The first discussed the results of their security audit by Secure Educational Consultants (SEC), presented to the board of education during a closed session on April 11.
The second presentation was from deputy superintendent Dr. Lineburg, who took the findings from the security audit and created a PowerPoint that outlined and operationalized these findings.
Roberson said school personnel from across the district have participated in trainings, including Oakland County Threat Assessment training on April 27 and April 28; MASA (Michigan Association of School Administrators) School Safety Summit on May 3; and all administrators will participate in ALICE Instructor Certification Training on July 11.
Before school begins again in August, she said school personnel will present to the board of education updates on mental and behavioral health; physical environment/infrastructure; culture, climate and community; law, policy and patterns of practice; operations and emergency management; as well as ongoing training.
Bloomfield Hills Superintendent Pat Watson wrote to school district families that “Counselors, social workers, and student supports are available this week along with increased police presence at our schools to help students feel safe and see the support that surrounds them each day. Please reach out to your child’s teacher, principal, counselor, or social worker if you feel your child may need additional support.”
The Bloomfield Hills Schools district has created a webpage with resources which may be helpful for parents talking with their children about the Texas shooting tragedy.