One month has come and gone since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES). Still in the wake of the shooting, I am constantly asked if anything has been done to further security at local schools. Sharon P. McGehee, superintendent of Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD), released a statement: “Every school has a standardized safety plan in place throughout the district to address lock down procedures and parental unification procedures. We have trained our school staff members in these procedures and we have the ability to lock down any school instantly. We also hold regular drills for students to ensure they know exactly what to do in case of any emergency.”
The private school I work for has become engulfed with concerned parents making demands to enhance security and safety procedures. Many of the demands seemed a bit outlandish and costly, which was much expected, but my administrator did what she could. My school added security guards, changed procedures with our perimeter gates, and added a lockdown procedure. Unfortunately, my private school is not well funded. The cost of changing locks, adding security guards, and any other changes cost money that we do not get form a district. Our funds come from what the parents pay, donations, and fundraisers. Needles to say, there is not a whole lot of spreading room to add new items to the agenda.
Changes have occurred all across our valley within our schools in response to the SHES shooting. Parents have gathered and schools have responded with appropriate action to put parents at ease and increase the safety of our children. Teachers, administrators, and parents have all come together in this time of fear to better protect our children while keeping a non stressful environment for the students.
Reminders: Here are just a few reminders for the upcoming week. Monday, January 21, is a national holiday. The celebrated holiday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Most schools will have a three-day weekend due to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We should all celebrate this day by talking to our kids about who King was and why he was an important figure in history. On this same day, Monday the 21st, Palm Springs High School “Spirit of the Sands” marching band and visual core is expected to march in the 57TH Inaugural Parade. This is a high honor for the band, the school, and our valley as we are represented to the world during this event. The band may still need help with donations. The link to help the band make it to Washington D.C. is on the band’s web site at psband.org. Let’s keep giving to help this band become a part of history.