(Richland, WA) -- In a letter to parents, Richland School District Superintendent Dr. Shelley Redinger says they are locking all front entrances to RSD's elementary and middle schools. Visitors will be required to call in to enter. High schools will cut down on the number of unlocked exterior entrances. This, the letter says, is in addition to security measures the district has already implemented. The text of the letter follows:

To our RSD community,

Our thoughts are with the community of Uvalde, Texas struggling with the senseless violence that occurred at Robb Elementary on May 24.

Safety is the district’s top priority and we are taking immediate actions to strengthen school security for the remainder of the school year.

  • All elementary and middle schools will have their front entrances locked during the school day with visitors required to call in to enter. High schools will reduce the number of unlocked exterior entrances. Entrances needed for passing periods will have increased monitoring.
  • District leaders maintain close relationships with law enforcement and emergency response agencies and we are working with them to increase police officer presence at our schools along with our security staff.

We want to share what efforts are already in place to protect students and staff.

  • Secure entrance vestibules have been added to schools in recent years as they are rebuilt and refurbished.
  • Exterior cameras are installed at elementary schools and exterior and interior cameras at our middle and high schools.
  • Alarm systems and badge access in place for non-primary entrances at schools.
  • School resource officers (SROs) and district security staff are on the campuses of Hanford and Richland High schools.
  • District and school staff have regular drills and other training to be prepared for threats.
  • Students, staff and anyone in our community are encouraged to access the district’s Vector Alert system to submit tips regarding issues such as cyberbullying, harassment, threats, weapons, drugs, mental illness, domestic abuse, family/home issues and suspicious activities in our schools. Tips may be sent online, through email, text or phone call. Those submitting a tip may remain anonymous.

Your children may be struggling with the news out of Texas. Information to assist you in talking to your children about violence that occurs at schools and help them cope is available. Families are also free to reach out to their child’s school counselor or view additional resources available from the district’s Mental Health Assistance Team (MHAT).

We are dedicated to keep working together to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in our caring school community.

Dr. Shelley Redinger

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