District officials: School safety and security is the top priority

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Tuxedo and Monroe-Woodbury School District officials reached out to their school communities following last week's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, reminding families that the safety and security of students remains each district's top priority.

"The administration of the district works closely with local law enforcement officials, as well as regional law enforcement teams, and BOCES safety coordinators to ensure appropriate safety protocols are put into place and executed," Tuxedo Superintendent Nancy Teed wrote in a letter posted on the district's website. "The staff and students at each school building have participated in a variety of safety drills and the district has a safety plan that is updated annually that includes security measures."

"As a school district, our primary focus is always our students – how to best meet their needs, socially, emotionally, academically and physically," wrote Monroe-Woodbury Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez in a letter emailed to parents and posted on the district's website. "We never lose sight of this purpose, but when events in our world happen that lead us to question 'why,' we must work together and resolve to do whatever it takes to teach, guide and nurture our children. They must feel safe and secure in their schools to allow them to develop into the amazing human beings they are destined to be. There is no more important work than this."

Both also reminded families that each district's counseling staff is available as a resource for anyone in need.

The national debate on the multi-faceted issues tied to gun control continued this week with student walkouts in Florida; student rallies and protests in Tallahassee, Florida, and Washington, D.C.; a listening session hosted by President Donald Trump; and a nationally televised forum featuring the Stoneman Douglas school community, Florida's elected federal representatives, the Broward County sheriff and the NRA spokesperson.

The passion and assertiveness of students, parents and teachers demanding legislative change and tougher restrictions continue to be in the forefront of the public eye.

- Nancy Kriz


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