See something; Say something: Ensuring our children are safe the second they leave for school

Like many of you, my morning routine involves reading the local area news alongside my cup of coffee. This morning I was greeted with a disturbing headline, Intruder at Wissahickon High School. Not the kind of headline any parent ever wants to read, let alone experience.

The intruder, a twenty year old male wearing a backpack, was able to make his way onto a school bus this morning. Neither the driver nor the students thought anything was suspicious about the unfamiliar face accompanying them on their morning commute.

As a rule of thumb for parent’s, I think it’s imperative to ensure your children know that if they see something out of the ordinary, they should immediately let a trusted adult know.

The student was able to gain brief access to the school. Luckily the School’s Resource Officer, Beth, immediately identified that the intruder didn’t belong, “It was clear that he did not belong”.

The SRO, Officer Beth, acted immediately and pulled the alarm.

SRO Beth did the right thing in pulling the alarm. The intruder then quickly fled on foot towards a neighborhood across the street while students were able to evacuate the building and regroup.

He ran from the building and was quickly apprehended by the Lower Gwynedd police.  WHS students were evacuated from the building so that law enforcement could ensure the building was safe inside.  Once that was done, students were brought back in the building at 8:30am.

The school acted immediately and responded appropriately. No students were harmed. I hope everyone understands how important a SRO’s job is. They ensure only those expected to be in our schools, enter our schools.

The suspect is in custody now and the police investigation, which would include any possible charges, is ongoing.  At no time were there any weapons observed or detected, but the evacuation was called anyway just to be 100% sure the building was safe.

I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank SRO Beth for identifying a thread and acting immediately to protect our children. This can happen to any school on any day, so it’s important our staff and children understand what to do when something seems off. Always remember that if you “See something; SAY something!

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