IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Several CCS schools recently have received reports about threats and school violence. Many of these reports circulated on social media and caused a significant amount of fear, anxiety, and chaos in our schools and throughout our community.
School safety is a priority for our district, and as such, every report received is taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. Every. Single. One. These investigations involve school administrators, other school staff, and our law enforcement partners with significant time, effort and resources used.
We have seen an increase in false reports and the use of social media to create videos on platforms such as Tik-Tok, Snapchat and other platforms to spread false information. When this happens, it creates confusion and chaos in the community, interrupts instructional time, generates rumors, and takes resources away from other important school and community issues.
Cabarrus County Schools will not tolerate this type of behavior. We need and want all students and staff to feel safe at school. Parents, we need you to talk to your children about responsible social media behavior. Monitor their social media pages. Remind them about the damage posting or sharing false information can cause. Remind them that there are serious consequences for posting threats or reporting false information. Remind them that students who violate the Student Code of Conduct and/or Board of Education policies governing behavior and technology use will receive appropriate consequences from the district, and in some cases, charges from law enforcement may occur.
We urge you and our students to continue to report threats or suspicious behaviors through our established methods, such as the Say Something anonymous reporting app or website or by contacting a school administrator, the CCS district office, the School Resource Officer, or law enforcement.
Working together, we can keep our schools safe.
John Kopicki, Ed.D.
Safety has always been and will always be a priority in Cabarrus County Schools. We are unwavering in our commitment to providing our students and staff with a safe learning and working environment so our staff and students can focus on teaching and learning.
Through long-standing partnerships with the Concord Police Department, Kannapolis Police Department and the Cabarrus County Sherriff’s Department, we have school resource officers (SROs) throughout our schools. Among their many responsibilities, our SROs assess and investigate threats to our school communities. We take every threat seriously and investigate each one thoroughly.
It's important to remember that hoax threats are not a joke, and they can have devastating consequences—both for the public and for the perpetrators. Issuing a hoax threat—even over social media, via text message, or through e-mail—can be a federal crime. For more information, click here.
One of the newest measures to be implemented in the district will be random Safety Checks using metal detectors at our middle and high schools. The random use of metal detectors is another layer of our safety protocols. We want to deter students from bringing weapons and inappropriate items to school and believe these devices will help us to do that. Before we begin using the devices, school staff will receive training, and we will talk with students about what to expect during these Safety Checks and how important it is for them to cooperate during them. The Safety Checks will begin in phases this spring with plans to complete implementation in secondary schools this fall.
ARE YOU AWARE OF THE LATEST TIKTOK CHALLENGE? CLICK HERE.
Online safety tips for parents and caregivers:
Parents may consider the resources listed below for further information of supporting kids’ internet safety:
COMMUNICATIONS DURING CRISIS
In today’s information on-demand society, it is easy to understand why expectations for immediate information about situations exist. We know students begin contacting their parents and sharing information on social media as soon as an incident occurs (or even in real time as it is unfolding) – a result of the times in which we live. However, this can lead to incomplete and often times incorrect information being conveyed.
Our district has experienced threats. Both real and prank. We are grateful for the assistance law enforcement has provided in assessing, identifying and resolving them.
Prank threats, regardless of the manner in which they are made, are crimes. They divert law enforcement’s time and attention from serving the needs of those in our community who really are experiencing an emergency and need help. Students who share prank posts and spread rumors about pranks can be just as accountable as the person who initiated it.
If a student, parent, or community member becomes aware of a threat, it is important to speak up. Immediately, do the following:
HELPING YOUR CHILD IN DIFFICULT TIMES
Situations like the one we experience with weather emergencies may be difficult for both children and adults. Sheltering in place and hearing loud noises (among other concerning occurrences) during a storm may result in strong, unwanted emotional responses for your child. It is possible that she or he might experience fear, anxiety, insecurity, and anger during situations like this.
Listed below are behaviors that you may see in your children:
Some children show feelings in a direct and immediate fashion while others may wait until a later time. A child’s emotional response to a difficult situation may not last long, but some problems may be present or recur later. Children need continued guidance and understanding from loving and caring adults. The following activities may be helpful for your child:
Children will look to adults for reassurance and to know how they should respond. As a result it is important to be aware of your own anxiety and model a calm demeanor. If you are overwhelmed by anxiety caused by the situation, take steps to deal with your feelings before affecting your child.