There is nothing positive about a threat of violence but the district is proud of how students are responding to things they see or hear. They are going to a trusted adult and reporting. While it takes a village to raise a child, it takes all of us working together to ensure our schools are safe places for learning.

We continue to encourage students that if they see or hear something to say something. It is working. In all recent cases, the investigation began with a student concern.

We take all threats seriously and working with the Ottumwa Police Department to thoroughly investigate each and every concern that is brought to our attention. Many times these concerns are unfounded. Other times, the issue is dealt with swiftly and our students are safe.

Sometimes this takes place during the instructional day, sometimes it takes place in the evening or on a weekend. Our goal is to maintain a learning environment that is safe for all students and staff. We do what is necessary to ensure that safety.

One of our biggest challenges is how social media it impacts the learning environment. Our recently updated communication plan is designed to share out the important information parents need to know in an efficient manner. Using our student information system allows us to text district parents. In most cases, these alerts let parents know that an incident occurred and that it was dealt with swiftly and resolved in some manner, either through disciplinary actions, legal consequences, or both.

We encourage our families not to add to the misinformation that can sometimes change the facts of these incidents.

I feel strongly that our schools are safe places for learning to take place.