My heart and soul ache for the young people and educators that lost their lives in Florida and in other school shootings around the country. We must also remember the hundreds of young people in Chicago and in other urban areas around the country that die from gun violence every day. The problem of gun violence crosses racial and socioeconomic lines and is a problem that needs our best minds and most passionate energy.
As an organization we will continue to examine our emergency protocol and school culture and climate so that we can ensure that we have the safest and most inclusive environments as possible. Our leadership team recently attended an active shooter training, the GES campus will have a DPS led emergency preparedness training this week, and we have provided spaces for students to talk about gun violence and this most recent tragedy. We have made a half dozen different changes and upgrades to our emergency protocol in the past couple of weeks and will continue to do all we can to make our schools as safe as possible. It is also an important time to say thank you to our staff that chooses to do this work every day. I often say, “We don’t hire people who couldn’t work other places” because it’s true. We hire people who choose to do the most important school safety work every day by greeting students by name, shaking their hands, facilitating mediations between students and staff, and tending to the academic and social/emotional needs of our students. This is hard work that makes young people's lives better and our school and community better and safer places to be. Thank you for choosing to do this work for our young people and community!
~Clark Callahan, Executive Director