CHEYENNE – In response to the most recent school shootings in Uvalde, Texas, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder has directed Deputy Superintendent Chad Auer to host a series of roundtable discussions across the state with district superintendents, staff, and school board members in June and July.
“As we continue to reflect on the tragedy that has befallen the families and citizens of Uvalde, the grief we all feel for them propels us to be prudent in making sure our own schools here in Wyoming are as safe and secure as they can possibly be,” Schroeder said. “We would be remiss, therefore, not to reassess our policies and procedures, school by school, and district by district.”
The goal will be to discuss school security, identify school district needs, and understand how the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) can support school security across Wyoming.
“While I am 100% confident that Wyoming’s school leaders are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of students and staff, make no mistake, nobody is standing complacent,” Auer said. “School safety is at the top of everyone’s mind now, and it has been for many years. The modern reality is we, as educators and communities, must prepare for the possibility that evil might show up at our local school on any given day. Confronting this reality is difficult, but that is exactly what we are doing in Wyoming.“
In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn, then Governor Matt Mead assembled a task force to study and provide insight on the status of school safety and security in Wyoming schools. In October of 2013, the administration released its findings, which prompted significant changes to school emergency response. As a part of the accreditation process, the WDE requires districts to have a school safety plan in place.
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Linda Finnerty, Communications Director