TEAM Lucia Mar staff and community,
This week, the return to school of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida provides educators with a “teachable moment,” an opportunity to assist students and our school community in understanding their own thoughts and feelings about the events and the testimonies of students in that community. It is also an opportunity to explore and experience the role of “voice” in our democratic society. It is our duty as educators to support students as they grapple with violence, death and mental illness. It is also our responsibility to talk & reassure our kids about safety in our schools. This may well be an opportunity for us to provide guidance on how students can be civically engaged and politically aware through an educational lens.
Several nationwide online movements have emerged. These movements, communicated through the media, urge students and staff to stage walkouts during the school day on several upcoming dates (, , & ) to advocate for political action on the issue of gun control. Some of our students and staff have expressed interest in participating in the walkouts.
In response, as a proactive step, Lucia Mar schools will set aside time on , at
for students to speak out and have their voices heard. This will occur at schools where students have shown an interest in participating. Our school principals have worked with students, including student leaders to ensure this time is constructive and meaningful to students. This opportunity for “student voice” will be on campus with parameters that keep everyone safe.
The “March for Our Lives” student led gun control protest, is on a and does not interfere with the school calendar, allowing those who desire to participate free do so. The date, falling on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High shooting, is a walk out during school hours that LMUSD cannot endorse as we have an obligation to encourage school attendance and keep students safe on campus.
- The current focus on student safety allows us to continue to pursue our focus on school safety. LMUSD’s practice of pursuing safe schools includes:
- Practicing school safety procedures on a regular basis. Each school has one lockdown drill each quarter, and one of those is observed by local law enforcement every year.
- Updated school site safety plans/procedures
- Standardized alarm systems for lock downs across the district
- Purchased window coverings for classrooms
- Added fencing and locking gates; additional fencing is currently being reviewed
- Revamped the entry at Lopez High School to include “buzz in” entry
- Installed cameras at Arroyo Grande High School
- Provided Active Shooter Training for Administrators and participation in active shooter simulation trainings initiated by local law enforcement
- Purchased “lock down” supply kits for each classroom
Of great importance is that we continuously work with our local law enforcement to ensure that we are practicing the best methods for school safety.
- Lucia Mar teachers and other staff have the opportunity to facilitate meaningful and educational conversations with our students around school safety. Please consider the following:
While each of us who cares about kids and cares about the safety of our nation’s schools has been deeply moved by the tragedy in Florida, there are widely held and differing opinions about how the nation should react;
- The conversation currently underway is a political one, related to the issues of gun control, mental health services, and school safety;
- Freedom of speech is a concept that applies to both students and staff. That being said, teachers have the responsibility to not abandon their duties during their work day and if they choose to do so, could be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
- Educators play an important role in setting an example for our students of how to respect varying viewpoints, and to encourage student dialogue without, by our words or actions, inhibiting any student from expressing a viewpoint that may be contrary to others’. Social studies or history teachers (or others informed about the historical perspective) can offer a viewpoint-neutral historical explanation of gun rights issues and allow students to articulate their differing views.
This week Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Ron Walton and I have met with groups of high school students from each of our four high schools. The students expressed concern about school safety, reiterated the importance of taking our drills seriously, and expressed appreciation for having the opportunity to express themselves. They expressed strong opinions, and some fears. They also expressed the need to look to their teachers as role models in taking our lock down drills seriously, and the value of teachers who treat them with respect and listen to them and help them with difficulties. They were concerned about ‘knowing what to do” in the face of an active shooter and highlighted the need for us to pursue additional training in this area. Clearly they carry a level of concern and anxiety regarding safety at school. Thank you to each of you who give of your time to show caring and concern for our kids. It matters.
Raynee J. Daley, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Lucia Mar Unified School District
Lucia Mar Unified School District is continuously planning and preparing for emergencies that could interrupt the school day for students. We want to make sure that you are fully informed of our Emergency Operations Plan.
IMPORTANT: At the beginning of every school year you receive a lot of forms to fill out, the online registration or Homelink account includes your emergency contact information. It is VITAL that we have accurate contact information for you, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
In the event of an emergency, DO NOT COME TO THE SCHOOL UNLESS DIRECTED TO DO SO.
You will be contacted via text, email, phone, and push notification in the Lucia Mar App. School staff will stay with your child until you, or an adult you previously authorized, can pick up your child. When you arrive at the school, staff will help you properly sign your child out.
Students may be moved to another location to provide better and more direct care. This decision will be made by the district administration and emergency personnel based current conditions, including the building safety and the duration of time that students may need to remain in the care of school staff. If relocation is necessary, schools will alert parents letting you know where your child is being cared for. This information will also be posted on the district’s website and shared with the media.
School Site Emergency Plan
School sites plan how to respond and recover from an emergency, disaster, or event resulting in the disruption of normal school operations.
The district and our emergency responders work together to conduct district-wide trainings and update every school’s safety plan. Your school’s emergency plan may be viewed in the school’s main office.
If your child has special needs that require additional assistance in an emergency, you can work with school staff to develop an individualized emergency plan.