Yet again, so soon, we struggle to make sense of bloodshed and violence in America’s schools. Last week, seventeen students and staff were killed by a lone young gunman in a Florida high school. This is the 12th shooting in a school since the first of the year. We Christians can trace the source of violence back to the devil. The Bible reminds us in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We place the fault of this bloodshed at the feet of one whose days are numbered: Satan. We find our hope and comfort in the sure victory of Jesus. Throughout the gospels and New Testament, we are reminded to “fear not.”
These days of violence call for people of faith. People of fear make poor decisions. They overreact, lash out, or retreat. People of courage, which should be us, as Christians, keep a cool head. They are not blind to nor bewildered by the evil in the world. Real courage embraces the twin realities of current difficulty and ultimate triumph.
I would appeal to you to not give in to fear. Resist the temptation to retreat and hunker down. This is the time for faith and the season for God-based confidence and hope. Let the Word of God comfort and minister to you and your children.
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
I John 4:4 (NKJV) comforts us with these words, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Psalm 37:7 (NLT) reminds us, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”
Proverbs 29:25 (NLT) says, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD Means safety.”
Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) says, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD.”
At the same time, it’s prudent to make the necessary provisions to protect your students, staff, and parents while on campus. Here is what MCA is doing:
- Monitoring and managing access to the campus.
- All entrances are locked and controlled by camera and two-way intercom.
- Over 25 external high definition cameras monitor the parking lots, playground, entrances, etc.
- 24/7 trained, armed, and dedicated security professionals on campus.
- Over 40 high definition dedicated internal security cameras within the school campus monitor all areas of the building.
- Very diligent and attuned support staff, faculty, and administration.
- Routine safety meetings to review MCA’s security procedures and protocols.
- Five lockdown drills conducted throughout the school year per Minnesota State law. After each drill, improvements are made in the school’s lockdown procedures.
- Panic and lockdown buttons located in secure strategic locations throughout the campus.
- Supplemental armed response team for the playground in the event of a lockdown or incident during recess.
- All paraprofessionals and teachers carry Walkie-Talkies during recess and at dismissal.
- All administrators, Health Office, and Student Services carry Walkie-Talkies all day, every day.
- Bollards at Doors 1 and 2 to prevent an intruder-driven vehicle to “smash and dash” access into the building.
- Comprehensive external security assessment conducted by Rozin Security Consulting (RSC). RSC most recently handled the counter-terrorism security for the Super Bowl. The school received an “excellent” rating with some recommendations for improvement. Be assured, these are being addressed.
- All visitors, including parents, during the school day are screened using Raptor which searches a variety of criminal databases.
- Prayer, prayer, and more prayer over your children and our campus.
Please have a conversation with your child and feel free to share any of this information with them. Remind them that if they see or hear about anything suspicious, they should speak to a staff member or security officer. Campus safety and security is a priority at MCA and something in which we all have a responsibility.
Blessings and thank you in advance for you cooperation.
Head of School