School Safety Message: Dec. 16, 2021

A School Safety Message from HCPS
Posted on 12/16/2021
HCPS LogoDear Families, Faculty, and Staff,

Hanover County Public Schools has recently become aware of a video that has been circulating nationally on social media, primarily TikTok, indicating “there will be school shootings in America” tomorrow, December 17. As with all safety-related matters, we are working in lockstep with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, who indicated that the post did not originate in Hanover County, and there is no credible information indicating that these safety concerns are directed toward any of our schools. As a result, we will be continuing with our school day as normal tomorrow and look forward to welcoming our students, faculty, and staff on-time.

As an added precaution, the Sheriff’s Office indicated that they will have an increased presence at our schools tomorrow. Please be assured that we will continue to closely monitor this situation in conjunction with our law enforcement partners and follow up on any possible safety concerns that are brought to our attention as we take these matters seriously.

We understand that these social media trends and situations cause stress and anxiety for everyone. As we shared with you last week, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Parents and guardians, we again ask for your help by speaking with your students about mindfully and responsibly using social media. Please discourage the spreading of rumors and inaccurate information or making careless comments. If your child encounters any suspicious behavior or learns of a possible threat, please encourage them to share that immediately with a trusted adult so that it can be reported to the proper authorities.

Please note that in the event of a credible threat or emergency, our first priority is protecting our students, faculty, and staff. This may require a full evacuation, sheltering in place, or limiting movement in a building. We have well-established safety and security plans that we constantly refine in direct consultation with our law enforcement and other public safety partners. This requires quick and significant work on behalf of every staff member and others who may be needed to support them. While keeping our families informed is always part of our plan, this takes time as our first priority is providing immediate support to the affected school(s) to help ensure everyone’s safety. We can only communicate when we have verified facts to share. We do this in direct consultation with our public safety partners, which takes considerable time and effort to ensure we are communicating responsibly.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our efforts in providing a safe environment for our outstanding students and staff.
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