Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Dear Taunton Public Schools Community,
I am sure you all join me in the extreme sorrow and grief we are experiencing over the
devastating events that took place yesterday in Uvalde, Texas. It is a tragedy beyond our worst
nightmares, and my prayers and condolences go out to all of the families and school
community members who lost loved ones during this horrific event. Experiences like these prompt fear and concern and I wanted to take a moment to share with you some
important information about the safety procedures and precautions we have in place in the Taunton Public Schools.
- All exterior entrances are locked at all times during the school day when students and staff are present.
- All visitors to the schools are only admitted through the Main Office. Our schools are outfitted with intercom systems and security cameras at each primary entrance which allows office staff to verbally and visually screen all visitors prior to admitting them into the building.
- The Taunton Public Schools has an outstanding collaborative relationship with our local police, fire and emergency responders. Earlier this school year, the Taunton Public Schools updated our comprehensive emergency preparedness plans for each school building. Each building has clearly defined safety procedures that allow us to secure our buildings, classrooms and other spaces within minutes. These procedures have been reviewed with staff and practiced during the school year. Representatives from the Taunton Police Department lead the training at our schools and provide the District with feedback. We value their feedback, and implement their recommendations to ensure our safety procedures are current and up to date.
- In the coming days, we will be in frequent communication with the Taunton Police Department as we continue our great relationship that recently led to the hiring of a fifth School Resource Officer.
Administrators at each of our schools regularly review emergency procedures and
precautions with our staff, including our recently conducted CrisisGo training. In response to yesterday's events, all staff members have been directed to maintain heightened vigilance in monitoring our school environment. My staff has been in contact with the Taunton Police Department as we will have a heightened police presence throughout the District to provide an additional layer of monitoring of our buildings and grounds throughout the day. We are confident that we have comprehensive plans in place should an emergency situation arise. The safety of our children and staff members is paramount.
I would like to remind you all to care for yourselves and your own health and wellness in the coming days. If you are looking for additional resources on how to talk with your child about what transpired in Texas, I am attaching several links to guidance issued by the American Psychological Association and resources on how to talk to your child about frightening events. If you need additional support, please reach out to your child’s building principal who can direct you to the appropriate staff.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Applicable tips from American Psychological Society
Child Mind Institute
Again, my deepest sympathies and sorrow go out to those affected by yesterday’s tragic
event. There are no words that could possibly capture the extent of their loss.
John J. Cabral, Superintendent
Taunton Public Schools