Nothing weighs more heavily on my heart than the safety and well-being of our students and staff members. Each day, I pray for our babies and for our teachers. I love our students as if they are my own children. And, I cannot fathom the idea of seeing them hurt or in danger. When tragedies like the one in Florida occur, I’m left feeling sad and frustrated. While I know that this world can be cruel, I am never prepared to accept that certain situations can actually take place. Many times, it just doesn’t seem real.
I consider Wylie ISD to be blessed. Blessed that we have created a culture of caring through the Wylie Way where teachers and staff members work to ensure that all children have hope. Blessed that we have a dedicated school board and staff who are always looking out for the best interest of all children. And blessed that we have a partnership with our first responders who go beyond the call of duty. I know these feelings are shared by our parents and community members, too. We are so lucky to live and work in Wylie.
Since the events that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, we have heard from many parents and concerned citizens. Thank you for reaching out to us. You have offered valuable insight regarding appropriate ways to navigate these situations, and we appreciate your feedback. Many of you have experience in safety and security; and, we are taking notes regarding your suggestions. Our safety committee, which includes the Wylie Police Department, has met several times. We are determined to ensure that our students and staff members are safe, and we are continuing to look at ALL options related to school safety. We have replied to numerous questions pertaining to everything from safety audits to arming teachers.
Though these efforts have recently become more pressing, our work will never be done. Our goal is to find solutions that are consistent, sustainable, and practical. Safety is, and always will be, our number one priority.
WHAT WE DO!
While listening is important, actions speak louder than words. Here is a breakdown of what we are doing to ensure the safety of Wylie ISD students and staff members.
Thanks to the 2014 bond, our campuses are equipped with video surveillance and safety locking systems.
Everything we implement is research based and follows state standards.
Our partnerships with local law enforcement make a big difference.
Most importantly, we build relationships our kids that prevents them feeling isolated, increases their hope and engagement.
CURRENT PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
We are doing a lot already to keep our schools safe. Here are the items already under consideration for the future.
REQUESTS FROM THE PUBLIC FOR CONSIDERATION
While these are significant and meaningful measures to improve the safety and security of our district, there is always room for growth. Over the past few weeks, we have requested input from parents and teachers. We welcome this input and consider all perspectives. We continue to listen to, and thank, those of you who have contacted us directly, through social media, and at the campus level. We need, and value, the input. At this point, all options are on the table. Below is a general list of suggestions which have been made by community members.
We appreciate public input. NONE of these suggestions are considered recommendations. They are simply suggestions collected for review.
DECISION MAKING PROCESS
We will take all suggestions to the Wylie ISD Safety and Security Committee. The Wylie ISD Safety and Security Committee is tasked with reviewing our Emergency Operating Plan (EOP) and scrutinizing all aspects of the district’s safety and security operations. They will be responsible for vetting all considerations and making formal recommendations to the board of trustees. New policies, procedures and guidelines must meet local, state, federal researched-based standards. Suggestions must be practical, sustainable, reasonable and affordable. Attorneys and insurance must approve them for consideration. Faculty, staff and administration must also be willing to implement them if they are to be effective.
We will be diligent with this work, but please know that it will not happen overnight. Some of these measures will be implemented quickly; others will take time and money. Again, our goal is to find solutions that are consistent, sustainable, and practical.
It is often said that schools are a mirror of the society they serve. In Wylie ISD, we work hard to provide a caring environment where children feel loved and appreciated. Our schools are a reflection of the people of our community—we want that light to always shine bright. Together, we can make a difference for our kids. Together, we can stand up to darkness and guarantee a bright tomorrow. It’s the Wylie Way.