THREAT FOLLOW UP
Dear Moscow School District Stakeholders,
Please allow me to follow up regarding a threat to two of our schools today. I know this is a scary and concerning situation for the entire community and hope I can answer some of the questions you may have regarding this matter.
First, over the past two years, the Moscow School District has addressed the increasing concerns about school security as follows:
- In conjunction with the Moscow Police Department, we have adopted the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) from the “I Love U Guys” Foundation. The SRP provides for uniform responses to threats that may happen within the District. This means that staff and students at all of our buildings understand and have practiced responses to security threats that may occur inside or outside of our buildings. Moscow Police Department (MPD) and Moscow Fire Department (MFD) personnel have been involved in our planning discussions and our practice drills.
- All MSD staff including administrators, teachers, aides, cooks, custodians, maintenance and grounds crew and transportation staff have received the SRP training and have participated in drills to practice the SRP. In addition, we have provided training to volunteer groups (such as Moscow Mentors) who are regular visitors so that they also know what is expected of them should an incident occur while they are in one of our buildings.
- We have added access controls to the exterior entry points in every District building. Any visitor to the school must now use the security intercom device and be cleared from the office before they can enter the building. All exterior doors now remain closed and locked throughout the school day.
- We have added security cameras to the inside and outside of every building in the District. While these cameras are not monitored continuously, they can be accessed quickly by District administrators and by select MPD staff in the event of an incident to get real time situational views.
- The District has formed a District wide SRP team, which meets regularly to review our response and reunification plans, debrief drills and other physical changes or maintenance concerns that need to be addressed to improve security.
- All District staff have been encouraged to refocus on making personal and positive connections with all of our students and each other. Specifically, we want all of our staff and students to look proactively for those individuals that may feel disconnected or alienated, and to reach out to them to help them feel included in the MSD community.
Second, regarding the specific threat from earlier this morning; there is not a lot of new information regarding the person who made the threat. We know the Moscow Police Department has cited the individual and will be monitoring his actions in the future. I know many people are concerned that the individual was only cited and not arrested. This ability to cite the individual is a recent change in Idaho Code. Prior to legislative action a few weeks ago the person would not have even been given a citation. This is something we will be discussing with our local Idaho Legislators to see if we can get a bill passed during the next legislative session that will increase the consequences of making such a threat.
We were asked if we knew the name of the individual who issued the threat, and what two schools were threatened. The identity of the individual may be forthcoming soon. The two schools were never specifically named.
Finally, I have been asked what additional actions the school will be taking these next few weeks in response to the threat. Along with what was mentioned earlier in this letter, we will be asking staff members to be even more vigilant in monitoring any unusual activity around the schools. We ask that parents also be alert for anything that appears to be unusual, and report this to police or school administrators. I have also been told police will be more visible around our schools. Of course, we will also review all actions taken today and will adjust protocols to improve future responses as needed.
We are working hard to make our schools as safe as possible and provide a positive environment for everyone who enters our facilities.
Gregory J. Bailey, Ph.D.