A Reply to the Collier School District’s Statement Following the Florida School Massacre

From: Steve Bracci
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018 7:17 PM
To: Patton, Kamela
Cc: ‘Lichter, Kelly’; Donalds, Erika; ‘lucars@collierschools.com’; ‘cartee1@collierschools.com’; ‘terryro@collierschools.com’
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #2

Superintendent Patton – I find this disingenuous.  You now suddenly say “If you see something, say something.”  But from what I can tell, your administration is still holding back information from parents and students.  This includes information that has not yet been generally circulated through the community, or even amongst those who more frequently advocate their interests.

You say that you cannot provide certain information due to student privacy concerns.  What happens when those concerns manifest themselves in a way that may place other students in that same school at risk?  Do the individual student’s privacy concerns then trump the other students’ rights to safety, security, and a knowing self-defense which may include a decision not to attend school on a certain day or days based on existing circumstances?  It seems the District can still warn the parents of the other students, while at the same time adhering to individual privacy rights.  From what I can tell, the District fails students and parents in this regard.

It is troubling that the District does not disclose information about existing threats to the parents of students at the schools that are directly related to the threat.  In essence, you are expecting that we entrust all of our childrens’ safety in your hands, rather than having an opportunity to making our own risk assessment before our children are sent into the care of the school on a particular day.

I suggest you get a handle on this in a way that incudes meaningful input from the community, because all of the current reports, disclosures, anecdotes, rumors and speculations circulating throughout our community as to students’ general physical safety and risk of sexual predation within CCPS, combined with a joint CCPS/CCSO approach that seemingly turns a blind eye to much of this, leaves parents and students with many unanswered questions and concerns.

How will you also now safeguard our students from these same threats as they circulate through the community at large while participating in the “mentorship” and “outreach” programs of all the various non-government organizations that have now woven themselves into the strategic plan of CCPS?

Sincerely,

Steve Bracci

From: Collier County Public Schools <info@collierschools.com>
Sent: Friday, February 16, 2018 4:28 PM
To: Collier County Public Schools Recipients
Subject: CCPS Safety Update #2

February 16, 2018

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We are mindful of the difficult events that have unfolded over the last few days. The safety of our students and staff remains a top priority of the District and all threats are taken seriously and immediately investigated. We remain in constant communication with our law enforcement partners to make sure each student and staff member remains safe. All threats, verbal, written, and electronic (for example, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter), are immediately reported to law enforcement. We cannot provide information regarding individual incidents pertaining to student discipline and placement since it is part of the academic record which is protectable from disclosure under Federal and State law.

Please know that teachers, counselors, and administrators at schools are available to support students. Students should reach out to an adult with any questions or concerns. We need the collective support of parents and other caring adults in students’ lives to monitor their written and electronic communications. We encourage students, parents, and the entire community to be proactive in keeping our children safe. “If You See Something, Say Something.” No concern is too small. Please remind your children of this message as we do in school. For more resources on how to support children, particularly at times like this, please click here to visit our CCPS Safety Information page.

Kamela Patton, Ph.D. Superintendent Collier County Public Schools

2 thoughts on “A Reply to the Collier School District’s Statement Following the Florida School Massacre”

  1. There appears to be a double standard.

    In the 1976 Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of Califiornia decision, the Supreme Court of California held that mental health professionals have a duty to protect individuals who are being threatened with bodily harm by a patient. This public safety concern overrides the doctrine of doctor-patient confidentiality. The original 1974 decision mandated warning the threatened individual, but a 1976 rehearing of the case by the California Supreme Court called for a “duty to protect” the intended victim. The professional may discharge the duty in several ways, including notifying police, warning the intended victim, and/or taking other reasonable steps to protect the threatened individual.

    So, does the school district administration have a similar duty to protect and warn ALL of its students and their parents when the school district administration knows and/or has been told repeatedly that a student has violent behavior? Where is the school district’s duty to follow-up when a student is expelled and may later return in order to act upon his vengeance?

    These policy issues need to be discussed in one or more school board work sessions or other public forums.

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