The tragedy in Nashville has again broken our collective hearts as the lives of 3 precious children and 3 staff members have ended way to soon. This most recent event reminds us that even small schools, like Covenant, are not immune to violence and tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the school family at Covenant School.
Each time there is an unthinkable attack like the one in Nashville, we rethink our school safety plans in the context of the most recent tragedy. As a matter of fact, our School Board always makes school safety the top priority when they set goals for our division. If students and staff are not safe, teaching and learning cannot occur. After more details are released about the most recent tragedy at Covenant School, we will determine if adjustments need to be made to our current school plans.
We also consider events at our own schools as a way to improve safety for our students and staff. As we wait to learn more about Covenant School, I am directing Principals to work with School Resource Officers to review our plans both during the school day, and during after school events like Parent-Teacher Conferences and school performances. It is important that our schools are safe during these times as well.
As we move toward consolidation and opening our new school, I want to share with you that school safety will continue to be our top priority. We are currently securing funding to provide the latest safety technology in our new school and the other 3 schools that will remain open. Some of those safety features include weapon detectors, security vestibules, car tag readers, proximity badges with alert capability, and more. I also encourage each of you to share safety ideas with me or other members of our leadership team.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I know that each of you join me in trying to ensure that our schools are as safe as they can possible be.
Keith Perrigan, Ed.D.
Bristol Virginia Public Schools
280 Lee St.
Bristol, VA 24201