Dear District 41 Families,
Last night, we hosted a session with the Glen Ellyn Police Department about safety in District 41 schools. In continued efforts to ensure safety is always our number one priority, information was provided about a new emergency response protocol we are implementing in the event we have an active shooter threat in any of our school buildings. This topic is sensitive and emotional, but it is necessary to address given the reality we live in today.
The new protocol is Run-Hide-Fight. This protocol is recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice, the International Chiefs of Police, the Illinois State Police, and the Glen Ellyn Police Department. These are the same protocols used at Glenbard West High School and other surrounding school districts. District 41 staff has already received some training by the police department and will continue to receive training on what to do if we ever have this type of threat at any of our buildings.
Run-Hide-Fight requires teachers to make a choice when faced with an active shooter threat. If a staff member feels they can safely evacuate students from a classroom to create further distance from the threat, they should do so. If they feel the threat is near, they should choose to hide as previously trained during lockdown drills. If there is an immediate threat in their physical space, staff will learn tips for how to best protect themselves and students.
Preparing our staff and students for real and present dangers is basic, fundamental education. Different times, different circumstances, and different dangers require that we prepare students in different ways. Nobody wants to contemplate something bad happening in our schools, but through responsible planning and training, we are able to respond to a crisis in order to better protect ourselves and those around us. Safety depends on our ability, our determination, and our commitment to make emergency preparedness a top priority.
We encourage you to engage in discussions with your child about school and community safety in an effort to be prepared to act in the event of an emergency. In the coming weeks, we will be sending home some helpful tips from our school district social workers about how you might have these conversations with your children.
Please Note: We will be hosting another safety session with the Glen Ellyn Police Department for parents in the coming weeks. Details will be shared soon.
Thank you, as always, for your partnership. Although I wish we did not have to address this topic, I know that together we can keep our schools and children as safe as possible.
Dr. Paul Gordon