Guthrie Public School’s Superintendent Dr. Mike Simpson released a letter to parents and members of the community regarding the events that took place on Monday. Here is that letter.
This has been a challenging week to be a parent, teacher, principal and especially a student. On Monday, one of our high school students was arrested for making threats to harm other high school students on Friday December 21st. That student is in police custody and the investigation is ongoing. At this time, no verifiable information has indicated anyone else was involved or that the student in custody had the means necessary to carry out the claims. As you are probably aware, the Guthrie Police Department and I arranged to increase our law enforcement presence on all of our campus sites this week as a precaution.
Hopefully, you are asking, “How can I help?” The answer is simple, don’t get caught up in the rumor mill. There is a difference between “someone is threatening” and “John Doe is threatening an act of violence at school.” When someone claims to have knowledge about a threat, we ask them if they have reported that threat to school officials or law enforcement. If they have not, why not? If your student comes home from school telling you that they are concerned about their safety, ask them to be specific about their concern. Don’t accept “someone said” or “I heard”; try to find out who, what, when or where, and if they answer those questions to your satisfaction, call school authorities or the police.
I’ve heard from many parents over the last few days about their suggestions with regard to safety. Some parents have chosen social media to communicate their thoughts. Social media is the “corner coffee shop” of our age. Know that communicating rumors anywhere without verifiable substance only fuels an unjustified frenzy. Maintaining the safe environment we all want requires that resources are used only to investigate verifiable threats. As a parent or student, you are a big part of that process by providing the school and law enforcement with valuable information just as our students have which led to the arrest of the student in custody.
I want to reassure our parents, students and staff that measures have been taken to provide a safe environment at school. You have entrusted us with your most prized possession each day. That is something we will never take lightly.
Thank you for your time in reading this letter and I want to wish each of you a happy and safe holiday season.
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