By Joshua W. Stafford,
Superintendent of Vienna High School
No doubt this last week has been indescribably difficult for the entire region and the many people that have been impacted by the Marshall event.
As Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has officially proclaimed today (Jan. 28) a day of prayer for Marshall County, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and friends that have been impacted.
Some would say that prayer is the least we can do, while others would mock the notion. However, I can’t help but be reminded of A.W. Tozer’s thought, “Prayer is never the least we can do; it is always the most.”
We must continue praying, discussing, planning, and taking action to enhance school safety, providing student support services, and engaging the entire community in a continuous and unwavering commitment to these items.
No community is exempt from a tragedy like this. As I shared with The Southern last week, “If you see something, say something. If something doesn’t seem right, we want to know.” Please reach out and let the police, school staff, a counselor or someone know.
Part of our ongoing response is the efforts of our School Safety Team.
This team is made up of representatives from numerous agencies including the Johnson County State’s Attorney’s Office, Vienna Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Family Counseling Center, DCFS, and numerous school staff along with grade school administrators.
Many initiative have already developed as a result of these efforts including ongoing staff training, a comprehensive crisis management plan, student drills, building related improvements, communication enhancements, educational assemblies, expanded grant supported counseling related services, student support programming, grant funded drug awareness programs integrated into the curriculum, and various others efforts.
Members of this team are in regular communication and will be holding a scheduled meeting this week.
Additionally, during our half day staff in-service on Friday, we will again be reviewing and enhancing various safety procedures.
Thank you for your continues support of these efforts.