The following email was sent to all SHS Families by our school principal, Mr. David Burroughs, in response to the tragic school shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas in May 2022.
May 25, 2022
Dear Sacred Heart School Community,
We find ourselves once again in shock from a school shooting. The damage to the lives of all the people affected is unimaginable. I hope that you and your families will join me in praying for all those killed and injured as well as their loved ones. I pray for the repose of the souls of those who died and for physical, mental, and spiritual healing for those injured and everyone in their community. As a Catholic school, prayer should always be our first response to tragedy.
But I want to assure you that we are doing more than just praying to keep our school safe. We have procedures and equipment in place to keep our school safe from a variety of threats.
- Our front entrance is remotely controlled and visible through a camera system. All visitors to the school must check in at the front desk (or gym entrance or Moore Theater in the case of a special event) and obtain a visitor badge. Please help us with this process by only trying to enter the school through the front entrance. Staff and students have been instructed not to open other doors to let people inside.
- We have cameras through the school building and around the outside campus that are visible to school staff. These cameras provide visibility throughout the school.
- The school is equipped with fire alarm pulls throughout the building which are connected to the fire department and our alarm monitoring company.
- The school also has “panic buttons” that are directly connected to the police department. When these have been tested in the past the response time by the police has typically been less than a minute.
- The school conducts regular emergency drills. All drills are designed to move students and staff quickly and safely out of the building to a safe location.
- All school staff members are trained every other year in first aid and CPR and several staff members are trained in the “Stop the Bleed” program to provide first aid for traumatic wounds.
- The school maintains a container on the premises that holds emergency equipment and supplies in case of a local or widespread disaster.
I want to assure you that all our staff takes the safety and security of our students seriously. Those of you who have been part of the community these past couple of years have been able to see that as we worked to keep everyone healthy during the pandemic. We use our personnel and resources to provide for the health and safety of our students in many different ways, most of them much more likely than a school shooting.
While school shootings in our area are statistically less likely compared to other areas of the country, I do not believe that because we are located in Clyde Hill, “it could never happen here.” Statistics do not ensure our safety and are no consolation to those who are affected by one of these tragic school shootings. We can and should use our school’s resources to do what we can to protect against all threats, in a way that is proportionate to such threats.
As a result of yesterday’s shooting, I have reminded all our staff about security protocols and asked them to remind the students as well. I have also begun discussing any necessary changes with staff to our security systems. There will be some improvements coming soon. If we determine that there are additional measures that can be taken to meaningfully increase our security, we will do so.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or suggestions. However, I do not answer questions about specific details of our security systems because we want to keep that information confidential in order for it to be most effective.
I have included in this email a video message from Archbishop Etienne who is reflecting on this tragedy from his perspective as our bishop.