Dear Ovid-Elsie Community,
On Monday, April 15th we had a situation come up at the Middle School. Albeit this was not your normal “lockdown” situation, we did in fact retain students in their classrooms while a locker search was conducted. This “lockdown” was initiated at the request of local authorities and an announcement was made over the PA asking staff to keep their students in their classrooms and it was specifically stated that there was no harm or immediate danger to students.
I believe that this was the case of a parent doing the right thing. In this situation there was reason to believe that a student was taking things that did not belong to him. The parent called upon local authorities and the administration to help with the procedure of searching the locker during school hours. Stolen property was recovered and that part is being dealt with administratively and legally.
During this time it was also alleged that a student could potentially have some illegal drugs in their possession. It was at that time that the authorities suggested remaining in lockdown until their K9 unit could do a complete locker search. The locker search revealed nothing at the Middle School. The K9 unit then did a sweep of the student vehicles (as they periodically do) and were on their way.
The Middle School was only put into this “modified lockdown” so that the administration and authorities could conduct their business without disruption. At no time were our students in any type of danger. The High School was not put into lockdown at any time as we knew that this was an isolated case.
In most instances the school will send out an alert informing parents about what is going on. Unfortunately, our system was down due to a system upgrade (Power Announcement works through Power School) until approximately 11:30 a.m. This was the reason that the school tried to communicate a message through Facebook so that some notice would go out with the full intent of communicating to the entire Middle School community what was happening when the system was functional. This did take place when the system was available.
We truly apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused or for any upset feelings. In the world that we live in, way too many things are taking place and the fear of the unknown can cause that fear to be greater. The safety of our students is a high priority and we would never compromise that. As many of you know, both of my children attend Ovid-Elsie Area Schools and my wife teaches in one of the buildings. I have the utmost confidence in our staff as well as confidence in the relationship that we have with local authorities and I assure you that we strive to do the right thing in these difficult situations.
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools has worked hard to try and increase transparency and communication over the past few years. We have done so by redesigning our website, implementing the “all call” alert system, creating a Facebook page, and much more. However, we still encourage you to be active in your communication with the school and in most cases, that is best done face-to-face. I encourage you to talk to your building administrators to get questions answered or concerns addressed and as always, I will make myself available as well.
With Marauder Pride,
Ryan Cunningham, Superintendent
Ovid-Elsie Area Schools