A Message from the Superintendent on School Safety

A Message from the Superintendent on School Safety
Posted on 12/10/2021
HCPS LogoDear Families,

As you may be aware, school officials have worked extensively today in conjunction with our valued and longstanding partners at the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigating possible safety concerns that were posted on social media regarding several middle and high schools in our division, which resulted in an increased law enforcement presence. Sadly, this is a trend across our region, state, and country. Thankfully, none of the reported concerns were credible or warranted a lockdown. All students and staff are safe, and we continued with the instructional day normally.

As a teaching and learning institution, we ask that you use today as a teachable moment with your child. Please let this serve as an important reminder that safety is everyone’s responsibility. We need your direct assistance with helping us to significantly limit the frequency of these incidents. One of the most important ways you can do this is by actively, closely, and frequently monitoring your child’s online activity. Please also make sure your student understands the seriousness and the consequences of spreading rumors on social media or otherwise that disrupts the safe operation of our schools, which we take very seriously. If your child encounters any suspicious behavior or learns of a possible threat, please encourage them to share that immediately with an adult so that it can be reported to the proper authorities, as early intervention can often prevent a situation from escalating. Do not spread that information on social media.

The rumors that led to today’s safety concerns appear to have started while some of our students were playing a video game, authorities learned, and were then shared more broadly on social media. In all instances when a safety concern is reported, school officials work in conjunction with our law enforcement partners at the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, who immediately investigate each instance, no matter how small. This requires significant time and effort. In instances of false reports spread by making careless comments, valuable resources are unnecessarily diverted that could otherwise be spent addressing critical needs in our schools and community, including emergencies.

In the wake of the tragedy in Oxford, Michigan, last month, we are all understandably saddened, shaken, and concerned. We extend our sincerest thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the victims, as well as the entire Oxford community. In the meantime, I want to reassure you that the safety of our students and staff remains and will always be our highest priority. We will continue to stay vigilant each day as we work alongside our law enforcement partners and other first responders to, again, promptly address any concerns brought to our attention.

Again, please be assured that the safety and security of our students and staff is of utmost concern, and we thank you for the trust that you place in us each and every day. Have a great weekend.


Dr. Michael Gill
Superintendent of Schools
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