Dear BSD Community,
I want to share with you some information about an incident that occurred at P.S. duPont Middle School on Thursday. The incident has attracted some media attention, so I think it’s important that you hear directly from me on what occurred.
On the morning of Thursday, May 2, students at P.S. alerted their teacher that another student had brought a gun to school. School personnel immediately checked the accused’s backpack and found an unloaded gun. Per the District’s Code of Conduct, the administration called the Wilmington Police, and the gun was confiscated and locked away. At no point were students or staff members in any danger, and the school day was not disrupted. Staff and students reacted swiftly and appropriately. In fact, the Wilmington Police lauded the efforts of the P.S. students and staff who were involved. Because of those reasons and so as not to cause widespread panic, the school communicated to parents and staff via an AlertNow message in the evening, when we hoped most families would be home to answer the call.
As I have said many times, the safety of our students and staff is our number one responsibility. Over the past 8 years, we have examined and upgraded security systems at every one of our buildings. We have a school resource officer or youth resource officer in every secondary school, and visitors cannot enter any of our buildings without being buzzed in. That being said, we are continually looking at ways to improve our efforts, including the way we communicate with parents in the event of an incident. In this particular instance, we had to weigh the potential benefit of early notification with the risk that such a call would create panic and anxiety among parents. Because students were never in danger, the prudent action seemed to be a notification in the evening when parents would be home.
Thank you for your continued support of the Brandywine School District. We know you entrust your most prized possessions – your children – to us every day, and we truly appreciate and recognize the importance of that responsibility.
Mark A. Holodick, Ed.D.