Livingston Parish Public Schools increasing security amid influx of school threats
LIVINGSTON PARISH- Officials with the Livingston Parish Public School system plan to increase the presence of law enforcement on all campuses.
In a statement released Tuesday, Superintendent Rick Wentzel addressed safety concerns surrounding the influx of reported school threats since the Valentine's Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida that claimed the lives of 17 people.
The statements reads:
Recent events in our state and nation have raised concerns about the safety of students and staff at all of our schools. I want to assure you that the Livingston Parish Public School System shares your concerns. We are dedicated to the safety of all students and staff and consider this our greatest responsibility.
We have intensified our focus on safety and security procedures to ensure students and staff are safe. Principals and staff continue to monitor activity on their respective campuses. It is most important that all individuals feel safe and that learning continues as normal in all school settings. We are working closely with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and various local police departments to investigate any threats and determine the best course of action to ensure our schools are safe. There will be an increased presence of officers on our campuses throughout the remainder of the year. This extra security should not cause alarm and may not be in response to any specific threat, but rather is a precautionary and proactive measure on the part of the district.
As we strengthen our efforts at school facilities, we also need your assistance. First, please speak with your child about the impact of repeating rumors or making aggressive statements. Threats are not considered to be a joke, and any threat against a school will not be taken lightly. Second, as of late, many people in our parish and surrounding parishes are posting misinformation on social media that is causing unnecessary alarm. While the authenticity of social media threats can be difficult to verify, every threat will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. We are prepared to pursue the maximum penalties allowed under the law. We are asking anyone who becomes aware of any threat to immediately contact local law enforcement and/or school officials so the facts of an incident can be deciphered and unnecessary disruption can be avoided. Again, parents, please speak to your children and help them understand the gravity of the spoken, written, texted and posted word. We live in a world that cannot tolerate threats even if they are seemingly made with no intent.
Be assured, our district will continue to place the safety and well-being of our students and staff at the top of our priority list. We encourage our community to come together at this time and remain vigilant so we can keep our schools safe and continue to do the important work of educating our children.