Dear School Employees, Parents, and Stakeholders,
As you know by now, there was a school shooting in Nashville yesterday. The Office of Catholic Schools has been in contact with our schools throughout the morning today. Please know that the safety and security of your children is of the utmost importance to the Diocese and your individual school community. All of our schools take all reasonable precautions to ensure they are as prepared as possible for emergencies.
Each of our schools is required to have an Emergency Response Plan. The plan is reviewed annually by the school and their Emergency Management Team. The plan is also submitted to the Office of Catholic Schools. Our schools are also required to have drills for the safety of our students and staff. Our required drills include: fire, tornado, and lockdown drills as well as recommend earthquake drills.
In addition to our standard drills, all of our schools are in the process of being digitally mapped. This program is consistent with the Department of Criminal Justice, public schools, and law enforcement throughout the state. Once created, these maps are shared with all first responders so that they can effectively respond to the situation as needed. This process is currently on-going but all schools should be digitally mapped by the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
The Office of Catholic Schools will continue to work with our schools on their Emergency Management Plans. We partner with them to review their plans and make recommendations when necessary. I have the utmost faith that the administration and their team in your school are working together to ensure safety of the students and staff remains in the forefront of their decision making.
I ask that you join me in prayer for the victims, their families, the larger Nashville community, and all those that have been affected by gun violence. May they find peace and solace in the loving arms of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Michael Riley
Associate Superintendent of Operations
Office of Catholic School
Diocese of Richmond