Dear L-S Families and Students,

In the aftermath of Parkland, Florida I am writing to outline for you how we, at Lincoln-Sudbury prepare ourselves to support safety in our schools. For us “safety” applies broadly to include incidents of harassment, bullying, violence, substance abuse, and natural calamities. We have a deep and broad range of safety protocols that have been developed, reviewed and amended over time through a comprehensive, inclusive, cooperative and collaborative approach.

We are most appreciative of our community partners, especially the officers and members of our local fire and police departments of Lincoln and Sudbury. They work with us to develop and train to implement preventative and protective measures, help us monitor potential hot spots as they may arise, and are always right there with us in a moment of need. Last year we were a part of two full day all town department trainings on how best to coordinate emergency efforts in a crisis. We are also grateful to our community partners that support outreach to families to provide pathways to pastoral and social services as needed. We are grateful for the expertise offered to us and I want you to know how excellent the safety professionals are in both towns and how openly collaborative they have been with us.

I am also very proud of the caliber of our in-school programs that are designed to be preventative and responsive on an individual and/or whole school level. Mandated safety trainings are done annually along with a different whole school drill done each quarter. We do additional trainings for students and staff for domestic violence prevention, substance abuse, signs of depression and suicidality, and bullying prevention. Many of these are done through ‘trainer of the trainer’ models in collaboration with community and state level partnerships.

For the latter, officers from Lincoln and Sudbury Police Departments offered us a whole faculty training on cyber bullying prevention last month. Yesterday, in the time slot we would have done the ALICE training, members of the Lincoln and Sudbury Police Department joined members of the L-S Safety Council to reflect on what was known about what happened in Parkland. This is a further example of our fluid collaboration between town and school and how we are always adjusting our practices to stay current.

On a more practical level I remind all of us that what school rules we have largely have to do with keeping students safe. Additionally, we find many ways to encourage our students to reach out for additional supports as needed and, also, importantly, encourage to let us know when they think a peer needs attention. The more we work together to support adherence to school rules and avail ourselves of ready resources for this purpose the safer our school environment will be for all our students.

In appreciation for our cooperative and caring relationships,
Bella Wong