Fabius-Pompey Central School District
Timothy P. Ryan, Superintendent of Schools
1211 Mill Street
Fabius, NY 13063
Phone - 315-683-5301
Fax - 315-683-5827
The safety and well-being of students and staff is a regular topic of conversation among school administrators. School superintendents frequently share ideas and compare information regarding the best ways to maintain a safe environment and Boards of Education periodically engage in conversations about this topic as well. At Fabius-Pompey, there are daily conversations between staff, administrators, parents and students with the goal to identify people that may need help or to identify situations that require greater vigilance. In spite of the reality that school safety is a daily consideration, the recent events at Parkland, Florida again cause us to stop and further question the best ways to achieve a balance between a safe school environment and an environment where individuality and intellectual curiosity can be celebrated and nurtured.
Fabius-Pompey, like almost all the school districts in the region, works with outside agencies to regularly improve the facilities as well as our practices to help create a safer environment. These changes are obvious, sometimes subtle and ongoing. When planning for the upcoming capital project it was with an eye on ways security could be improved. As police departments develop improved practices and better ways to respond to emergency situations, they have been eager to share their knowledge with school districts. And there are always new ideas to be considered.
Twenty years ago, when school safety and security came to the forefront of discussions on the local, state and national level, there was a great deal of research conducted to determine the best practices needed to keep communities safe. The answer that was true then and is still true now rests in communication. It is having an environment where students, parents, community members and staff feel like their voice matters and that it is important, even essential, to share concerns with either law enforcement or school personnel. Among elementary students, we want to talk about the difference between tattling and telling and explain the importance of telling adults about concerns. Among older students and adults, it is reinforcing the idea of, “See something, say something.” I started working as an administrator in the Fabius-Pompey School District seventeen years ago. In that time, we have had many people come forward and voice specific concerns regarding a host of different situations. Sometimes there were simple misunderstandings. Sometimes the insight prevented a bigger problem. Often, the information ensured people were getting help they needed. But the strength of this district has always been the fluid flow of information.
As we implement new ways to secure our facilities and to react in emergency situations, I want to reinforce the importance of sharing information and concerns. Teachers are fond of saying, “There is no dumb question.” In that same spirit, I want to ensure you that there are no “dumb concerns,” to trust your instincts and to know that we are all working together for the common good.