To Our Principals and Staff of the Puyallup School District,
This morning we are once again left to ponder a senseless tragedy which has resulted in the loss of life and terrible injuries in a school setting.
While our thoughts, prayers and sympathy are with the Marysville community, it is time for WE as a school district to deeply consider how each of us may take positive and meaningful steps to reach out to each child and young adult in our schools.
WE must, in our schools, be well prepared for emergency situations. We regularly practice drills for several different types of emergencies. We coordinate actively with law enforcement, fire services, and emergency personnel, and we are deeply appreciative of their support and expertise in keeping our schools safe. This work is vital for the safety of our students...yet being prepared to react is not sufficient.
A critical aspect of prevention in such tragic situations, is something that we as a system do well, and must continue to improve upon. Being kind and welcoming are core values for the Puyallup community, and they are foundational to our work in our schools.
Several community members expressed yesterday that they are at a loss to know how we might prevent such senseless acts. While considering their concerns, it is clear that the aspect of such situations we do control is how we go about the inclusion and support of each child and young adult.
As we move forward it is extremely important that we are prepared and vigilant for any incident that might occur. Please know that your diligent preparation is appreciated.
Most important in each of our schools is strongly reaffirming our commitment for inclusion and caring. WE will continue to emphasize kindness and empathy toward each child and young adult.
Please take the opportunity to make sure that as individual schools, support services, and as a district we are clearly focused on the mission of kindness, caring, empathy and inclusion...not simply because it may prevent a tragic act... but because that is what WE are about in Puyallup.
We will do more together to make our schools safe for our children and staff by making them welcoming and inclusive, than by any other single point of emphasis.
Thank you for your leadership and the positive example you provide for our students. As we carry this message forth in an appropriate manner for each grade level, it is an opportunity for us to show genuine empathy for the Marysville community... and to reaffirm core values to OUR children.
Please share this message with our staff as it works most effectively in your location.
Be Great Every Day!
Dr. Timothy S. Yeomans, Superintendent Puyallup SD