Superintendent Statement 2/28/18

Statement from Cairo-Durham CSD Superintendent, Anthony Taibi

February 28, 2018

As you are aware, on Tuesday, February 27, the Cairo-Durham Middle/High School went into lockdown after school administrators were notified of an alleged threat made by a student.  While the situation was being investigated by school administration, the student walked out of the building. School administration immediately contacted law enforcement and initiated a lockdown at approximately 12:10 p.m.  At approximately 12:55 p.m., once law enforcement determined there to be no immediate threat, the process to release the campus from lockdown was initiated so that activities could then return to normal.  

During a lockdown, our number one priority is to make sure our students and staff are not in danger. Our primary focus must be to first deal with the situation at hand, gather the facts and then communicate information to the public. A lockdown does not always mean that something is happening or that there is pending danger. It is an emergency response tool that allows us to safely evaluate situations to determine our next steps and ensure the safety and security of our students and staff.  We routinely drill for situations such as this and as a result, administration, staff and law enforcement were well prepared and able to respond quickly and appropriately.

As a result of their investigation, law enforcement determined there to be no immediate threat to our school environment. Any threats of this nature, even if deemed not credible, are taken very seriously. We suggest parents discuss this situation with their children and emphasize that there are severe consequences of such actions, even if the threat is made in jest. We are unable to disclose specific disciplinary actions taken with students, however students who are found to have made such threats face consequences through our school’s Code of Conduct, as well as potential legal ramifications.  

We commend the multiple students who came forward in an appropriate manner and we will continue to emphasize to all that if you see or hear something, the best way to handle the situation is to immediately tell a trusted adult. We encourage all students and staff to continue to be responsibly proactive if faced with similar circumstances in the future.  

The school district is the first and best source of information about what's happening in our schools. We understand the need for the community to receive real-time updates, but in the interest of safety, that’s not always possible. Only after we have the facts and can safely say there is no immediate threat are we able to share information publicly. We have different resources, including our website, calling system, and social media pages, through which important information will be shared.

Without question, this is a difficult and challenging time for all students, parents, and staff.  Any incident or threat of school violence is disconcerting and frightening for all of us. The events of yesterday, coupled with the recent tragedies across the country, brings even more emotion and stress to any given situation. As we continue to process the issue from yesterday, please know that we had counselors available today and will continue to do so for the remainder of the week, to help our students and/or staff deal with any emotions that they are feeling as a result of the situation.   

Below, I have included several resources from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) to help parents and educators talk to children about violence.  If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call the District Office.