Nearby Gunfire, Robbery Incidents; Nov. 30 Meeting

Two gunfire incidents near campus have prompted an email about safety from Principal Hart and a community meeting convened by the Seattle Police Department’s African-American Community Advisory Council.

Capitol Hill Seattle blog has details of:

The meeting is at Garfield Community Center at 6 pm., Thursday, Nov. 30.

Principal Hart’s email is below.

From: Tarance Hart <tdhart@seattleschools.org>
Subject: GHS Campus Safety
Date: November 29, 2023 at 2:08:43 PM PST

Dear Garfield Community,

As we confront the increase in gun violence in our community, most recently a shooting after school yesterday near 23rd and Spruce, our focus at Garfield is steadfastly on the safety and well-being of our students and staff. While we cannot control violence in the community, we have the power to control our response and take as many preventative measures as possible to ensure the safety and security of our school environment. We are dedicated to implementing and enhancing measures to secure our campus.

Implemented Safety Measures at Garfield:

  1. Secured Exterior Doors: All exterior doors are locked except during passing periods and lunch. Outside of lunch and passing periods, anyone seeking entry will need to identify themselves to be buzzed into the building. Side doors are not used for entry, and students are asked not to open doors for anyone.
  2. Security Staff After-School: We have stationed security personnel outside the building during after-school dismissal until 4:00 pm.
  3. Strategically Positioned Staff: While the number of staff available is limited during passing periods, we have carefully positioned them in key areas to support and maximize safety on campus, including a staff member at the front doors.
  4. Volunteer Coordinator:  A Volunteer Coordinator has been selected and is currently being onboarded. A volunteer role focusing on campus safety and adult presence has been established and will be managed by our incoming Volunteer Coordinator.
  5. Shelter-in-Place and Lockdown Notifications:
    • Immediate Alerts: In the event of a situation requiring a shelter in place or lockdown, we will promptly notify parents through Talking Points.
    • Ongoing Updates: We will provide regular updates as the situation evolves and until it is resolved.
    • Post-Incident Information: After the situation is under control, we will send a comprehensive overview of the incident and any necessary follow-up actions.

In addition to these measures, our Safety Committee is currently engaged in a thorough review and refinement of our after-school emergency response plans. This involves evaluating our existing strategies, identifying areas for improvement, and developing robust procedures to effectively respond to any emergencies that may occur during after-school hours.

Family Support for School Safety:

  1. Discuss Safety Rules: Please talk with your students about the importance of following school safety rules, such as not opening doors for anyone.
  2. Volunteer Contributions: Your participation in our volunteer program, especially in safety-related roles, would be appreciated. Once the Volunteer Coordinator is onboarded, more details about how to volunteer will be available.
  3. Prompt Reporting: We rely on you to report any unusual activities or safety concerns immediately.
  4. Foster Open Communication: Encourage your student to speak up and approach school staff if they have safety concerns or need support.

We are committed to providing a secure and nurturing educational environment. Your understanding, cooperation, and active involvement are crucial in these efforts.

Thank you for your support and commitment to the safety of our school community.

In Partnership,

Principal Hart