Dear Staff, Students, Parents, Law Enforcement and Community,
I would like to take a moment this afternoon to address the situation that occurred at Ben Franklin Junior High school Friday afternoon.
We plan and train and practice, but no one knows how they will react in a situation like the one we all experienced yesterday–until it happens. Although there was no real threat, the fear and stress were certainly real for all of us.
Thank you to:
- Our staff members who reacted in seconds to protect our students as if they were their own.
- Our students who remembered the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) training we have practiced.
- The various businesses and locations who housed relocated students from the building.
- Our parents for bearing with us as we worked to get factual information on the situation, for your patience as you came to pick up your student and for your many kind words and support on a very difficult day.
- Law enforcement agencies that responded, the Stevens Point Area Police Department, Portage County Sheriff’s Department, Plover Police Department, Emergency Management, State Patrol and Department of Natural Resources. Within minutes of the school’s emergency notification system being activated, heroes of our community were entering a potentially unsafe building while staff and students were evacuating. Your response was outstanding.
We will take the opportunity to debrief the event and determine what improvements can be made so that we always have the best plan in place for emergency situations.
The district will have additional resources at BFJH throughout the week for students or staff in need of extra support. Staff at other schools will be available to students who do not attend BFJH, but who may need assistance processing the event.
We now have planned, trained, practiced, and experienced how we react in this situation and I am thankful for, and proud of, the response from our staff, our students, our parents, law enforcement and our community as a whole.