It is with great sadness that I write this letter to our community in response to another loss to our school family. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of the families and friends that have been impacted by this loss and those before. At the same time, we also appreciate the outpouring of support from our community during this difficult time. As parents and members of this community, we all want what is best for our children and make sure we do not experience any other loss and heartache.
Our school district has taken many steps to address mental health with our teachers and students. This summer our Board of Education approved bringing licensed therapists into each of our buildings to help and serve students in a better way. We brought in experts from the State Department of Education to train our teachers, counselors and administration on trauma informed instruction.
Currently, we are bringing in state agencies to work with local and school officials to devise a plan to educate staff, parents, and patrons to support students and work toward recovery. Counselors and therapists will continue to have a presence at our school to support our students and their needs. We are working to bring our community, parents, law enforcement, support agencies, clergy and staff together as a team to support our students and educate everyone about how to recognize and report the signs of mental stress.
We are following the specific direction and guidance from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and the Oklahoma State Department of Education as to our next steps in addressing our students and staff. These agencies and experts have advised us against public events or assemblies in dealing with our students’ mental health. We ask that before you host a public event or have someone speak on mental health, please contact the school district at (918) 443-6080.