Superintendent's Office

Response to Uvalde May 25 2022.pdf

Dear Members of the Enfield Public Schools Community,

By now you have all heard about the tragic event yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. Although details of this horrific event will evolve in the coming days, there will still be no words to express the heartbreak and fear of yet another school shooting in this country. Our thoughts are with the students, families, staff, and community of Uvalde as they deal with this unthinkable tragedy. I also realize that when an event like this happens, whether it’s thousands of miles away in Texas or thirty minutes away in Newtown, the anxiety we all feel shakes us at our core.

Like you, I am a parent of school age children. I realize the conversations you are having with your children at home, with your family members, and with your friends about the safety of your children when they are at school. I wish these conversations weren’t necessary, as I must have them at home as well, but at the moment, I understand why they are happening. The frequency of these events is unacceptable, but that is a conversation that’s bigger than just the Enfield Public Schools. For now, please understand that the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the procedures we have in place and the partnership we have with local law enforcement to help prevent events likes this from happening in our town, as well as the response we have for any emergency in our schools.

The Enfield Public Schools and the Enfield Police Department work in direct partnership for all matters related to security and safety in our schools. The first person I spoke with when this news broke was Chief Fox, and the public should know that the district and the police department work hand in hand in keeping our schools safe. We also collaboratively monitor any potential threats and work together to investigate any situation of concern.

Every school in the district has a safety plan. These plans are created not only in conjunction with the Enfield Police Department, but with all our emergency services departments in town, including our fire departments. Part of our plans include extensive training, where we partner with law enforcement to ensure our teams have an open and rapid system of communication.

We have done extensive work to our buildings to increase physical security in all our schools. Although I cannot disclose specifics, I can assure you that these upgrades have been done in coordination with the Enfield Police Department.

In partnership with the Enfield Police Department and supported by the Enfield Town Council, we have an expanded School Resource Officer program. In schools without a full-time SRO, there is a daily police presence, even if students, parents, and staff do not physically see them. 

This school year the district added security personnel in each of our buildings. In years past, our in-house security team was limited to Enfield High School; however, this year we felt it was important for each school to have a designated security officer in every school.

There are many other things we have done to increase the safety and security in our schools, but I wanted to share with you a few things to hopefully ease the anxiety you all must be feeling today. You probably also noticed an increased police presence at your child’s school today. Let me be clear—there is no specific threat to your child’s school. The additional police presence was simply out of an abundance of caution and may continue in the coming days.

I also understand that with technology and social media, your child may have already seen information about this event and will be dealing with emotions that may cause them to need additional supports. Please, if your child is uneasy or anxious about what they are seeing online about this tragedy, reach out to your child’s counselor or administrator. Our staff continues to do an amazing job helping our kids get through tough times, and we are well equipped to assist your child if more support is needed. I just ask that you remember that when something like this happens, it affects all of us, and your child’s teacher and school staff are navigating their own emotions about this. Even so, I am confident that our staff will put aside their own fears and do everything they can to help your child during this troubling time.

For parents, I hope this information gives you some comfort that we are doing everything we can to keep your child safe, and you will help us by reassuring your child that there are safety protocols and procedures in place. Again, the safety and security of our students and staff is our highest priority, and I truly hope I never have to send a letter like this to you again.

Thank you - and stay well, 

 

Christopher J. Drezek

Superintendent of Schools