Oct. 4, 2023, email from Principal Hart:
Dear Garfield students, families, and staff,
Today, Garfield High School went into a shelter-in-place because of an altercation that began on the Garfield campus with a conflict between two students. This incident was between two families and not a direct threat to our school. All students and staff are safe. Our standard Wednesday dismissal schedule was followed.
As a reminder, during a shelter-in-place, all exterior doors are locked, students remain indoors and the standard school day continues.
There were also reports of gunfire in our neighborhood but NOT on our campus. The Seattle Police Department (SPD) quickly responded to that incident. SPD is investigating, and we do not know if Garfield students or families were involved in the incident involving a gun off campus. An investigation is still in progress.
We are working diligently to learn more about what happened and how to ensure a safe school environment for our students. Outdoor after-school activities are canceled. Indoor activities will continue as planned today.
Students may have witnessed the increased police presence as the SPD responded to the situation. SPD remained on the Garfield campus through dismissal.
Below are some resources that can help our community be prepared and respond to the anxiety that acts of violence may create.
- Regional Gun Violence: Community-based resource guide
- Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- Seattle Police Department Personal Safety Tips
- SPS Coordinated School Health Mental Health Resources
Please know that I take safety in our buildings very seriously. The well-being of our students is my top concern. I am proud of how our school community responded to this incident. The safety procedures were followed, and this situation was resolved safely.
Keeping all students safe is our goal. Adolescents have complex feelings and interactions, and sometimes those play out in negative ways. Physical or verbal altercations are not an acceptable way to resolve differences.
Please remind your student about safe and appropriate conduct. It is important that our students know what behavior is expected at school.
- All concerns about student behavior, including conflict between students, should be brought to the school leaders for investigation.
- If students hear about any inappropriate or dangerous behaviors, please have them contact a staff member as soon as possible.
- If your student is having a problem with another student, please contact a member of our administrative team.
We all play a role in school safety. You can use the SPS Safe Schools Hotline 206-252-0510 to report any threats to SPS schools. This phone number is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or your student’s administrator.