In the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, I feel it is very important that I share what Dorchester County Public Schools (DCPS) is doing to protect our children by providing an update on security measures presently in place, as well as our plans to enhance safety within our schools for our children and staff.
The goal within DCPS is to implement a culture of school safety districtwide. This culture encompasses students, parents, DCPS staff, local law enforcement and the community and is based on enhanced communication, relationship building, and the trust of all parties.
With the recent tragedy in Texas, safety is now in the forefront of the minds of students, staff, parents, and community. Here is what has taken place within DCPS over the last three years to enhance our security measures at our schools and Central Office.
Our commitment to providing interventions and supports include the implementation of mindfulness practices, restorative practices, and learning social skills. For students struggling with intense mental health needs, we have a partnership with ten mental health providers where students can be referred to receive therapeutic support.
Those without access must use our video calling system to gain entry when approved by main office review. Additionally, security cameras monitor entry points and other areas of the building and school campus and can be monitored remotely by the DCPS Central Office and local law enforcement agencies.
The DCPS Board of Education members and I feel enhanced safety precautions are a necessity for our schools. Do you feel the same way? I have heard our community speak about the tragedy in Texas, but there is very little conversation at our council meetings and community events on the topic of school safety for Dorchester County.
I encourage you to ask our elected officials about their platform involving community and school safety. As we move toward the November elections, I encourage the Dorchester County community to ask candidates about their platforms toward safety as well as the DCPS annual budget.
Additionally, I implore the local County, City and Town leadership to move forward towards making decisions for the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable assets, our children. Please use part of your American Rescue Plan funding to provide further protections for our students and staff as doing so will not increase the tax burden on our community. American Rescue Plan funding is specifically allocated to counties for recovery from the COVID 19 pandemic and the increased violence in our communities during the pandemic certainly justifies this safety request by DCPS.
The safety and security of our students, staff, and buildings is our top priority and the partnerships we have with local law enforcement enhances physical safety for all. Without physical safety, we cannot support emotional safety, well-being, and ultimately, learning for your children. As a student, parent, staff member, or community partner, I am sure you will agree.
Dorchester County Public Schools