Letter sent to Arapahoe parents commends school response

6:28 AM, Dec 14, 2013   |    comments
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CENTENNIAL - After the shooting at Arapahoe High School, the superintendent of Littleton Schools, Scott Murphy, sent a letter to parents about what happened.

The letter reads:

Dear LPS Parents and Staff:

As you are likely aware, two students were shot by another student at Arapahoe High School today around 12:30 p.m. According to police reports, the shooter was another Arapahoe High School student who subsequently took his own life during the incident. As of the time of this communication, one of the injured students is being treated in a local hospital and is in critical condition. The other student was also treated in a local hospital for minor injuries and has been released to family.

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Officers responded to this incident immediately, as did Littleton Fire Rescue. Because our schools conduct practice drills regularly, the staff and students knew how to safely lockdown and then evacuate the school. They acted quickly, appropriately, and bravely. The importance of our partnership with local law enforcement, our focus on student safety, regular safety drills with students and staff, and having School Resource Officers in our schools cannot be stressed enough.

We want to thank all of our parents districtwide for being patient today. As the events at Arapahoe High School unfolded this afternoon, our top priority was ensuring that all Arapahoe High School students and staff were safely evacuated from the school, reunited with their families as quickly as possible, and that all other district students made it home safety. We want to thank all district employees for their actions that made this possible.

All district schools remained on lockdown this afternoon under the direction of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. When the Sheriff's office told us it was safe to dismiss all other schools, the district then began dismissing students either through regular bus transportation or through parents/guardians showing IDs and signing their students out. Parents were encouraged to pick up their students rather than having them walk home. The district sent parents a series of voice messages, texts, and emails throughout the afternoon to keep everyone informed of lockdown and dismissal procedures.

Dismissal took time today as all available buses were transporting Arapahoe High School students to other locations to be reunited with their parents. We appreciate the patience and cooperation of all of our families as we worked to keep students safe. We also want to thank all of the local businesses and community groups for coming together this afternoon to help keep our students, parents, and staff members safe and comfortable as we reunited students with their parents. And, most of all, we want to thank the staff members of Arapahoe High School for their quick actions, caring support, and bravery.

We will continue to follow the direction of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's office for as long as this is an ongoing police investigation. We want to thank local law enforcement agencies for their quick response today. We are very fortunate to have such close partnerships with them. The importance of having school resource officers in our schools and the importance of regular safety drills with students and staff cannot be stressed enough.

Counselors from LPS, neighboring school districts, and community agencies will be available for students, staff, families, or anyone needing assistance from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, December 14, at:

? Powell Middle School (8000 S Corona Way, Littleton, CO 80122) and

? Shepherd of the Hills Church (7691 S University Blvd, Centennial, CO 80122).

Additional resources for families will be available on the district website: www.littletonpublicschools.net.

All district school activities scheduled for tonight have been cancelled. Schools are communicating with their individual school communities about activities throughout the rest of the weekend.

We will continue to follow the direction of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office while this is an ongoing investigation. Arapahoe High School will be closed Monday. All other district schools will be in session Monday.

We are very concerned about the well¬being of the Arapahoe High School community and the LPS community as a whole. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the students affected by this tragedy.

We will provide updates as more information becomes available. Again, thank you very much for your caring and patience today. Littleton Public Schools is a tight¬knit community: a family. We will continue to care for one another as we move forward.

Sincerely,
Scott Murphy
Superintendent of Schools

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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