School Safety - Rocky Hill

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December 17, 2021 

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff Members,

I am writing to you this afternoon regarding the most recent TikTok challenge and our efforts to keep all Rocky Hill students and staff safe and secure. 

As was widely reported in the news, this most recent social media threat was determined to be not credible by the Connecticut State Police and did not target a specific school or school district. District leadership, in consultation with the local police department, determined that sending out a mass communication in response to a threat deemed as not credible was unwarranted and might actually have the unintended consequence of inspiring a misguided individual to make a genuine threat against the school district. As we noted this morning, two Connecticut school districts were closed for the day in response to direct threats that were made following the commotion over the TikTok issue. Another district was forced to release all students early. Closing schools has a negative impact on student learning and disrupts the daily schedules for many, if not all, working families. I am pleased to report that we experienced a typical school day in Rocky Hill today without any problems. We did, however, work throughout last evening and this morning to ensure that police presence at each of our schools was increased today during both the arrival and dismissal times. 

Please note that the school district will always distribute timely emergency communications when our public safety officials inform us of a credible, viable threat to the safety of our students and staff. As you are aware, the town experienced a drive-by shooting event on December 7. The local police responded immediately, the three schools in the vicinity of the crime scene were immediately placed on lockdown (no person was allowed to enter or leave), and my office sent a district-wide communication to all parents and guardians within minutes of this event occurring. Two additional updates were distributed as more information became available that afternoon. 

Our school district is blessed to have the unyielding support of an outstanding local police department staffed with dedicated, talented, and exceptionally professional public safety officers.  In addition to the regular, daytime patrol detail, the Rocky Hill police provide us with added protection in the form of a robust school resource officer (SRO) program. Our SROs are in daily communication with our school administrators. In addition, the police administration is in regular contact with our central office leadership team in order to assess threats, coordinate proactive safety measures, and respond to any crisis that develops. 

In closing, I would like to thank all parents, guardians, and staff members for your continued support of the Rocky Hill Public Schools.  We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure everyone’s safety while keeping our schools open for high quality teaching and learning. 

Best wishes for a great weekend.

Mark Zito, Ed. D

Superintendent of Schools