MPS superintendent’s message to parents: ‘Doing everything possible to keep our students, staff safe’

Dr. Darienne Driver

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Darienne Driver on Wednesday, Feb. 21 issued a letter to MPS families, outlining the steps taken within the district to keep students safe. This, one week after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. that took the lives of 17.

Superintendent Driver noted that MPS schools have a main entrance that is locked at all times, thousands of surveillance cameras and administrators take each and every threat seriously. Additionally, she said active shooter drills are performed with support from law enforcement.

 

“Dear MPS Family,

It has been a week and our thoughts and prayers remain with the staff, families, and students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It has joined the unimaginable list of communities known for the violent actions of one individual on one day.

In Milwaukee Public Schools, the safety of our children, staff, and visitors is our highest priority. Schools are safe places where the next generation learns and begins to chart its future.

We have always had many measures in place to protect our students, staff, and schools. I want to share some of those with you now to reassure you MPS is doing everything possible to keep our students and staff safe.

  • All MPS schools have a single main entrance that is locked at all times. Visitors must be buzzed into the building. Each main entrance has a camera, allowing staff to see a visitor. Staff have the ability to deny entry to the building, if they have concerns.
  • Visitors are required to check in at the safety desk or main office. Visitors are also issued a visitor badge that they must display at all times.
  • Each school has a safety plan tailored to the needs of that building and community. Staff conducts safety drills monthly.
  • MPS participates in active shooter drills with the support of local law enforcement and other first responders.
  • There are more than 2,500 cameras located in MPS buildings and properties. More are being added on a regular basis.
  • Our professionally-trained school safety staff are prepared to help schools deal with a variety of situations.
  • We have a close working relationship with the Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee Fire Department. Our regular communication gives us the ability to work together quickly and collaboratively, when needed.
  • We take any threat seriously. We immediately notify the Milwaukee Police Department and work together to investigate the threat.

We continually look for ways to improve our security measures and our school safety plans are under constant review.

An important action we can take to keep people safe is within each one of us. If you see something – say something. If you hear something – tell a trusted adult. If someone threatens to harm themselves or others – take the threat seriously and tell someone.

Thank you for your support of MPS and our children.

Best,

Dr. Darienne B. Driver

Superintendent of Schools”