The Tuscarawas Valley Local School District is issuing an awareness message on the topics of Mental Health and Suicide.
The following message was issued by Superintendent Mark Murphy on Wednesday, February 21st:
- There was a written threat of “school shooting” today on a girls’ restroom stall at TVHS. It was reported immediately by students to the school office whereupon law enforcement was immediately notified and arrived to the building.
- The situation was immediately investigated and determined to not be a real threat to the safety of students and staff. Law enforcement was involved in all aspects of the investigation.
- A meeting was held with all high school students to discuss the crisis being faced throughout our nation’s public schools, along with the suicide epidemic plaguing today’s youth. The message was one of hope, encouragement, and to always do the courageous thing by reporting anything (observed, heard, or posted) which is unusual, suspicious, or out of the ordinary. An opportunity was given for students to ask questions, with nothing off limits. Lastly, we candidly discussed the stresses, pressures, temptations, and challenges facing young people today. Great emphasis was placed on never losing hope, and urging young people feeling lost, hopeless, desolate, isolated, and afraid to realize they are not alone, and to reach out to parents, teachers, school leaders, etc. We are here to help!
- Very clear expectations were communicated: Threats will not be tolerated by school officials or law enforcement; there will be swift investigation, as well as consequences.
- TVLS teachers, staff, and leaders continually review safety protocol, including drills, tabletop exercises/scenarios, and theoretical drills–including those involving active shooters. Lockdown drills alone are insufficient. We now discuss and train students and staff to ACT based on available information: Evacuate (run and keep running); Hide (lockdown and barricade); Fight (consider ways to counter and fight back) against one seeking to kill or cause harm. Principals and teachers work hard to direct the drills and discussions based on the age, grade, and maturity of the students.
- In addition to ensuring a high-quality education, we maintain a relentless commitment to the safety and well-being of students, staff, and guests of TV Schools. While nothing is 100% foolproof, we will continue to reinforce existing safety protocol while exploring alternatives to bolster safety in our schools.
- All parents and community members are urged to attend the Adolescent Mental Health and Suicide Awareness event on Monday, February 26 at 6:30pm at the Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center. Guidance counselors have worked ambitiously to bring a panel of experts to educate adults and youth alike on this important topic. I strongly encourage your attendance and invite students in grades 5-12 to attend as well, based on parent discretion.
- Ben Overton, TV parent and Pastor of New Life Church, extends an open invitation to a brief time of prayer following Monday’s event at the PAC.