This week we will invite all parents and teachers to participate in the 5Essentials Survey. Students in grades 6-12 will also have an opportunity to provide feedback on their schools. All public schools in Illinois will be sending out notice of these surveys. They are designed to give feedback on the learning environment in our schools. We will need over 20% of our parents in each school to provide feedback in order for us to receive survey results.
Tuesday, February 4th school administrators received information that a general threat of violence had been made on social media against Unity High School. When the threat was discovered, school administrators and local law enforcement officials immediately partnered to investigate the situation and remove the student from school. There was no incident that took place at school. No students were in danger. The school day continued as usual.
As a precaution, law enforcement officials and school administrators continue to investigate fully to ensure there is no danger for students at school. This morning, Mr. Dorethy and I searched student bags as they entered Unity High School. We also had officers from Adams County Sheriff's Department on campus this morning. In light of the general threat of violence made yesterday, we felt those were reasonable precautions.
While I understand some students may not have liked having their bags searched, we tried to make the searches almost identical to what individuals experience when attending a concert or professional sporting event. As administrators, our first responsibility is to keep students and staff safe. We want to accomplish that as much as possible while still respecting people's privacy. We may not always find the right balance, but we will certainly try to - but we will error on the side of kids' safety.
Some have asked why I did not put out a School Reach call. There was a general threat made, but at no point in time have we felt students were in any real danger. Instead of that approach to communication, I posted information to the website. I then shared a link to that information via the district Facebook page and Twitter feed. We will continue to evaluate our communication strategy and I value your feedback.
Superintendent of Schools