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Spokane Public Schools responds to Texas school shooting

Spokane Public Schools shared details of its safety protocols following the shooting at a Texas elementary school.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Public Schools (SPS) emailed parents on Wednesday morning, following the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“It may have happened thousands of miles away, but we all feel the impact of violence that touches a school,” Superintendent Dr. Adam Swinyard wrote in a statement. “Our love and support extends to the families, students, and community of Uvalde, Texas.”

SPS said that staff is available to talk with students if they have questions or need to process the tragedy. The district also shared a link to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), which has a webpage dedicated to school violence resources. Help from NASP includes tips for parents and teachers to talk with their children about violence, school violence prevention, and bullying prevention among other topics.

SPS also shared a link to its safety protocols. SPS said state law requires schools to conduct nine drills a year, that includes practice for shelter-in-place, lockdown, and evacuation.

SPS said every school site has security cameras and a single point of entry. Here is more information provided by SPS:

Parents, if there is an emergency at your child’s school, please help us by doing the following:

  • Check the SPS homepage at spokaneschools.org, the SPS Facebook page or our Twitter feed. We will provide credible, accurate and useful information to the public as soon as possible. Expect to see our posts updated as necessary. We will also provide updates to local media, but be aware that emergency situations can change rapidly. Information received from sources other than the school administrator or SPS communications office may be inaccurate.
    • In addition, we will use our Blackboard Messenger phone and text notification system to contact parents and guardians with updates and information in as timely a manner as possible. Please make sure your emergency contact information is always up to date at your child's school.
  • Do not call or go to the school.In an emergency, onsite staff are focused solely on getting everyone to a safe location. Showing up to the site can create unnecessary traffic, preventing emergency vehicles from responding quickly, and may also put you in danger.
    • If you get a call or text from your student, help him or her remain calm. Remind your student that school staff know what to do in an emergency situation, and will work to keep everyone safe.

Familiarize yourself with the terms used during emergency situations:

  • Secure and Teach: Used to secure the building from a potential threat that is distanced from the building, such as when an unauthorized person is loitering on school grounds or when there is criminal activity in the neighborhood. Exterior doors are locked, but normal activities continue inside the building.
  • Lockdown: Used when there is a perceived danger inside the building or on campus. Doors are locked, windows are closed and locked, blinds are closed. People are directed to move away from windows and doors. Hallways are cleared of students and school staff.
  • Evacuation: When students and staff are moved out of the building to a pre-designated safe location.
  • Shelter-in-place: Used during severe weather or other environmental threats (e.g., air contamination due to a local fire) to keep people safe while remaining indoors.

Parents with questions about the SPS safety protocols can reach out to the district through its Let’s Talk Platform.

SPS also encourages anyone who has information about a threat that may impact a school or school program to report it. People can call 911 or the SPS Department of Campus Safety at (509) 354-5934.

WATCH MORE: Licensed mental health professional discusses how to talk to children about tragic events

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