Letter to families regarding school safety

Dear KCPS Families,

We are sharing this letter with you to provide information about school safety measures being implemented in the Knox County Public Schools.   We want to provide you with accurate information and ask for your assistance in educating our youth about the seriousness of threats.

First, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Marshall County, Kentucky and Parkland, Florida.  Since these two events took place, dozens of school districts across Kentucky, including Knox County, have experienced threats via social media.

The Knox County Public Schools will not tolerate threats of any nature.  Threats against the school district will result in law enforcement investigation and criminal charges being filed.  KCPS and all law enforcement agencies are fully committed to ensuring that our schools are the safest places in our community. In fact, it is our top priority. No child should have to go to school in fear, and every family should have a reasonable expectation that their child is in a safe learning environment.

Thanks to local donations and an investment by the Knox County Board of Education, metal detectors will soon be installed in all schools.  While we have received positive feedback on this decision, we remind you that it is only one method of many that we can use to prevent violence in our schools.  We ask for your patience and cooperation as we install these devices and adopt more secure procedures for entering our schools.

Early next week we will be sharing with you information about new communication tools that everyone can use to report potential disruptive behavior. We need our entire community to help us identify those who might threaten or bring harm to our students. Every student, family and community member must be a part of the solution. We encourage families to talk to their children and impress upon them the seriousness of threats in today’s society.  If your child hears or sees a message that poses harm to others, the appropriate action to take is to report it using one of these communication tools, tell an adult at school, or report it directly to law enforcement.

Our schools and the district will continue to review policies and procedures relating to safety and make any necessary changes.  If you have any questions about local school policies, please contact your child’s principal for more information.

We will continue to keep you updated with information about school safety in the Knox County Public Schools.