5-25-22 Important Message from LRHSD Superintendent
May 25, 2022
We began our school day with a Moment of Silence for the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting, as well as the many educators, family members and friends impacted by this tragedy. We paused to mourn those who lost their lives and also reflect on our own school community. We reinforced how each of us in the LRHSD plays a critical role in keeping our schools safe. We can each do our part in ways that may seem obvious, like ensuring that we do not open our exterior doors for strangers, but also in more subtle ways like how we treat one another each day with kindness and empathy. We also reminded our students and staff that it is each of our responsibility to report any safety concern immediately to administration.
There is no doubt many of our students arrived today with deep-felt sympathy for those suffering in Texas. Our principals say they are moving through the day with great strength. But, if your teen is struggling and you need resources to help them, please visit our website where we posted The National Child Traumatic Stress network’s resources. A lack of outward emotion today does not mean our students are not wondering about this incident, or many other incidents like this school shooting which have occurred in their lifetime. Ten years ago, when our current high school students were beginning their school career, in preschool through second grades, one of the deadliest attacks on little ones in a school setting occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. That particular school shooting likely shook you to your core, as those victims were the same ages as your own children at that time. But regardless if we now have little ones in our lives, this latest school shooting weighs heavy on all of our hearts. An incident of such tragic magnitude may even trigger post-traumatic stress disorder from seemingly unrelated events that have occurred in your child's life.
Our commitment to the well-being of our students, staff and families to create safe and healthy learning environments is evident in many of our ongoing and new initiatives. We have supportive and approachable staff who allow students to feel comfortable to share what they are feeling. Counselors are available every day for our students. We also are the only district in the county with a Wellness Room in all our schools. Students find these to be safe spaces to visit during the day to talk with a wellness counselor or to sort out their thoughts. Our Board of Education recently designated the LRHSD as a “Stigma-Free” zone for mental health awareness. Lastly, we partnered with Care Solace to help anyone in our school community find a mental health provider. Please join me in reinforcing for our students that the bravest thing they can do for themselves is to ask for help.
We understand the mental health status of our school community is just as important to mitigate tragic events as are security measures. However, our district is also strong in the layers of protections and procedures in place to secure our campuses. As a reference we attached a list of the majority of LRHSD’s school security initiatives.
Together, we offer our deepest condolences to the Robb Elementary School community and can best honor the memory of those who lost their lives so senselessly by taking care of one another. We must do that, not just today, but every day moving forward.
Carol L. Birnbohm, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Lenape Regional High School District
LRHSD School Security
A listing of some of the measures that are in place in LRHSD to help deter and prevent security breaches and violent incidents in our schools:
- Police officers are assigned to each school (School Resource Officers). Marked police vehicles are located at each school, reinforcing high visibility police presence. Police have access to live streaming video surveillance for emergencies.
- The school district maintains an open and excellent working relationship with local police departments and the NJ State Police.
- Security Staff (several retired Law Enforcement Officers) are assigned at each location to assist with maintaining a safe school environment.
- All schools have a comprehensive crisis plan, which is reviewed and updated each year with input from local and NJ State police.
- All exterior doors are secured and locked during the school day. Additionally all doors are numbered to assist emergency responders in the event of an incident.
- Main office vestibules were constructed to limit direct entry to the school. Protective barriers were installed at our main entrances.
- Visitor screening process: All visitors must identify themselves. School Security personnel monitor all visitors via cameras and intercom system, and authorize entry into a secured lobby via an electronic doorway. Photo ID is scanned through a security management system. Once cleared, visitors who need to enter the school are escorted.
- All staff and administrators, including substitute teachers and support staff, are required to wear and prominently display valid ID badges.
- Mandatory security and fire drills are conducted every month, including but not limited to, fire drills, evacuation drills, lockdown drills, bomb threat drills and active shooter drills.
- All schools are equipped with 24/7 interior and exterior surveillance systems and local and State police have access to these systems in an emergency situation.
- Lockdown buttons have been installed at all schools to initiate and expedite the lockdown procedures.
- Communications system with hand held radios are assigned to administrative personnel, police, security and other staff to expedite communications in the event of an emergency.
- Emergency training is conducted with all new employees and reviewed annually with all staff.