Craig Mathers, Superintendent of West Carroll Schools, issued the following letter after a completed investigation of rumors that a threat of a shooting existed at the West Carroll Middle School.
January 24, 2013
Dear West Carroll parents and staff,
This letter is to inform you of steps taken by the West Carroll CUSD #314 due to a rumored threat of a possible shooting at West Carroll Middle School on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. The staff immediately put actions into place that are part of each school’s safety plan. District personnel in coordination with law enforcement officers investigated the rumored threat.
The investigation did not lead to a credible threat. School safety actions were initiated to error on the side of safety and caution. Officers were present at dismissal times while students loaded district busses. District staff was also present to help monitor behavior.
As a parent or staff member, you can help the safety of all students and staff by immediately reporting issues to the building principal. Each situation will be investigated and judged on its own merits. Due to the many terrible incidents happening in schools around the country, the district will be diligent with any threat. It must be acknowledged and dealt with promptly to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
Craig A. Mathers
West Carroll Superintendent
Talking With Your Child About the School Shooting in Connecticut
News of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in which children and school staff were killed, might make you think that school violence is on the rise. But as terrible and frightening as incidents like these are, they are rare. Although it may not seem that way, the rate of crime involving physical harm has been declining at U.S. schools since the early 1990s.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fewer than 1% of all homicides among school-age children happen on school grounds or on the way to and from school. The vast majority of students will never experience violence at school or in college.
Still, it’s natural for kids and teens to worry about whether something like what happened in Connecticut may someday happen to them. How can you help them deal with these fears? Talking with kids about these tragedies, and what they watch or hear about them, can put frightening information into context.