Pickerington Times-Sun

Connecticut school slayings

Walker posts website letter addressing school shootings


Pickerington Local School District Superintendent Rob Walker posted a letter on the district's website this week stating the district is reviewing security policies in the wake of the deadly school shootings in Connecticut.

Monday, Dec. 17, Walker posted the letter on the district's website expressing sorrow for the loss of lives Friday, Dec. 14, following a mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

In the letter, Walker said the district would "... continue our pursuit of additional security procedures to work closely with our police, sheriff and law enforcement officials."

He also noted Pickerington schools use the services of a national school safety hotline, and encouraged anyone who has information about impending or ongoing "... wrongdoings or illegal activity ..." related to local schools to contact the hotline via telephone or the Internet.

Calls to the district office requesting information about any programs, counseling or procedures to help address the killings with students, staff and parents and to enhance school building security in the wake of the shootings were not returned Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 17 and 18.

Walker's letter, titled "School Safety in the Wake of Newtown, Conn." stated:

"Our hearts go out to the families, community, and school personnel in Newtown, Conn. What took place on Friday is unimaginable. As a parent, I can't imagine the grief they are feeling. As a school administrator, I hope nothing like this ever happens in our district or any other district in the future. We will keep everyone in Newtown in our thoughts and prayers.

"Here at home in Pickerington, we will continue to make student and staff safety paramount. We are very fortunate to have new and renovated buildings that are designed for student and staff safety. We will continue to be vigilant in focusing upon prevention, preparedness, and readiness to keep everyone as safe as possible as we move forward.

"We know that we are responsible for your most prized possession, your children. As we all know, statistics indicate that having your child at school is safe and is growing safer however we will continue to incorporate the best strategies to ensure the well-being of your child and our staff.

"We will also continue our pursuit of additional security procedures while continuing to work closely with our local police, sheriff, and law enforcement officials. School safety also depends heavily upon insight and input from our students, friends, and family. Everyone can play a vital role in making our schools safe by contacting school and law enforcement officials to make them aware of any potential danger that threatens our schools.

"Pickerington Local School District utilizes the services of a national school safety hotline; Safe School Helpline to report any potential danger/wrongdoing in any of the Pickerington Schools Safe Schools Helpline's purpose is to promote school safety and report wrongdoings or illegal activity. It can be reached by phone at 1-800-418-6423 or via the Internet at www.safeschoolhelpline.com

"As we all mourn the tragic losses in Connecticut, let us all draw closer together as a school community to offer our thoughts and prayers to those grieving while continuing to make our schools a safe place for our children and staff."