Today we find ourselves in the heartbreaking position of having to process, once again, the senseless
and devastating murder of students and teachers. We have endured so much these last few years and
our school communities have shown incredible resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges. What
they should not have to worry about is the threat of gun violence in their own classrooms. No parent
should have to worry about the safety of their child when they drop them off for school every morning.
No teacher or principal should feel fear when the door of a classroom or school building opens
throughout the day. No child should have to a light candle for lost friends and classmates.
In these times, it is important that we all pull together and do what our city does best: support one
another. School staff members are willing and able to provide support and assistance. Remind your child
that their school is a safe place and encourage them to discuss their feelings. Please do not hesitate to
share your child’s concerns with school staff members so we can provide appropriate supports.
I want to reassure all members of our school community that we are focused on safety every day. The
NYC Department of Education will continue to work closely with the New York Police Department and
partner city agencies to provide support and information during major incidents that impact our school
communities. All New York City public schools follow strict safety protocols designed to keep your
children safe at all times, especially in the event of an emergency. You can find information about the
protocols we follow to keep children safe on our website at schools.nyc.gov/school-life/safe-schools/emergency-readiness
Please make sure your school has current emergency contact information for your family. In addition,
you can register for Notify NYC (a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov) and create an NYC Schools Account
(schoolsaccount.nyc) to ensure you receive up-to-date information on emergency events.
The health and safety of our students continues to be our highest priority and we are here to help you
during this challenging time.
David C. Banks