School Safety: Important Message from the Superintendent
February 28, 2018
Dear Union Springs Families and Caregivers:
School safety is the job of the entire school community. Today I have been informed by some students and community members that there is a rumor circulating that I have been informed of an imminent threat to the MS/HS and that I was going classroom to classroom informing students that there would be no school tomorrow as a result. It is my understanding that this rumor was circulating via Snapchat. There is NO TRUTH to this rumor. I did not visit any student classrooms today (2/28). The Union Springs Central School District will be open tomorrow. Should I become aware of an actual threat to student safety, I would communicate with you all directly via a letter, robo-call, website, and Twitter.
Any effort to keep students safe requires leadership and coordination by school administration, and involvement and participation from all sectors of the school community; rumors are not constructive, but genuine information and concern regarding student safety is extremely helpful in helping us respond to student needs. Today I was also made aware that there was an additional rumor circulating that a middle school student yesterday, on the afternoon bus run threatened violence against the campus. That rumor is inaccurate as well. On the 3pm bus, a middle school student had their phone taken by a high school student without their consent. The middle school student in an effort to get his phone back stated something to the effect, “if you don’t give me back my phone, I will kill you and I don’t care.” The incident was reported by the bus driver at the end of their bus run, investigated by the director of transportation, the Middle School Principal, myself, and the NYS Troopers, who deemed the statement to be not credible, and rather the result of a student who was being harassed who had their property taken from them and we are following our Code of Conduct in this matter.
Today (2/28) at lunch at around 1pm, I was in the cafeteria with Mr. Walker, when a student approached me with a screenshot of a Snapchat conversation that stated that there would be violence on February 23. Obviously, this date has passed and school was not in session on this date. We have turned over the information we have to law enforcement for their further investigation. As always, I thank you for your concern, care, outreach, and support of our young people. We will continue to work and communicate with you as situations evolve during these challenging times.
Jarett Powers, Ed.D.