Letter from the Principal — Feb. 26

February 26, 2018

Dear Garfield Community,

This is a follow up to the District email sent to you on February 20, 2018 alerting you to an incident in which a Garfield student was arrested for threatening students. Please be assured that Seattle Public Schools is taking the threat very seriously. In response to the incident, safety protocols were reviewed with faculty on Monday the first day back from Mid-winter break.  Our current practice of locking all doors except the front doors during school hours will continue.  Our students are being instructed to keep the doors closed and not let visitors in throughout the building.

Let me share with you what we are doing at GHS:

  • The Seattle Police Department will provide enhanced support around Garfield High School.
  • The District has added two additional Seattle Security specialist will be on site starting Monday, February 26, 2018.
  • GHS faculty met with students during advisory to dialogue with our students about the incident.  We did this in a more intimate setting allowing students to ask appropriate questions and to share their voices.
  • Our school counselors are available and prepared to talk with students about the event and student concerns.
  • Going forward, the Alder school doors will be an emergency exit only.  Students will not be able to enter or exit through the Alder doors.  This is the South side of the building located on Alder street.

As partners in this work, your vigilance is requested ensure that any safety concern is immediately reported to us or the police. If you or your student see something, please say something.  Reach out to Garfield Faculty, School Administration, the district office, and or the local police if you see behavior that has potential for causing self-harm or harm to others. 

 Here are some ways that you can help:

  • Take a moment to discuss this important issue with your children.
  • Stay connected and monitor social media activities your children are engaged in.
  • Familiarize yourself with warning signs offered by the Sandy Hook Promise, which offers programs and support to help protect children from gun violence in homes, schools and communities.
  • Finally, ensure that your children do not have access to firearms in your home or while visiting homes of friends or relatives.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility. By working, talking and listening together – especially with our students –our school communities become a safer place. I know there are many questions that are unfolding.  I will communicate with you as new questions and concerns arise and will continue to update on a regular basis.  Keep an eye on your email for my communications.


Ted Howard, II

Principal, Garfield High School