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WGHS Principal
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Dear West Geauga Families,

The tragic events that occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida reinforced the importance of the safety messages we continue to have with the students at West Geauga High School. Teachers continue to have conversations with their classes about the A.L.I.C.E. program we utilize to help keep students safe in the event of an active shooter. Students and teachers have asked great questions about what they would do in various situations. These questions are being addressed through class meetings and communication with the staff on an ongoing basis. West Geauga High School continuously holds discussions with our local police departments about the A.L.I.C.E. program and how to better prepare our students and staff in the event of an active shooter on our campus.

As you may have seen on the news and other social media outlets a National School Walkout is planned with participants across the U.S. and internationally for Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Dr. Markwardt and I expressed to the students that we are neither endorsing nor discouraging the walkout. This has opened the opportunity for West Geauga social studies teachers to talk with and educate our students about political movements. These conversations are in an effort to get students thinking about making informed decisions regarding their participation in a walkout. The message was reiterated by Dr. Markwardt and me during class meetings. We would prefer students remain in their classrooms for safety reasons. Please know that if students decide to walk out on March 14, 2018, police will be on campus to help ensure students are safe. In addition to the planned March 14th walkout, another National Walkout is planned for April 20th. A National March is scheduled for March 24, 2018 at our Nation’s Capital. 

While meeting with each grade level, Dr. Markwardt informed the students that there will be a greater police presence in our building going forward. Students were notified that the district is planning to redesign the High School’s entrances to tighten access to our building. We also want to make you aware of a newly formed student group in which student safety is discussed with teachers and administrators.

We need your help in preventing acts of school violence. Parents and students are encouraged to say something if they see something. If there are conversations, Snapchat posts, Instagram feeds, Twitter messages or anything that does not sit well, parents and students need to tell someone. Tell a teacher, school counselor or school administrator. No matter how minor it might seem, please do not hesitate in contacting the police or school officials. For the community’s convenience, we have a link at the top left of all building websites allowing concerned individuals to anonymously report. Here is the direct link - https://www.publicschoolworks.com/SHL/bullyingMgr.asp?di=435&dia=ed1n7

Please take the time to discuss this message with your children at home.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Kind regards, 
Jay Bishop
West Geauga High School
Follow us on Twitter @WestGHigh 

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