Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is unfortunate that a situation that has been under investigation and observed to be under control has developed into an unsubstantiated claim of negligence on the part of the Gadsden City High School administration.
Due to an on-going investigation and subsequent measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved, I will not go into full detail, but it has become apparent that many of you, due to a recent post on Facebook, have been made aware of a claim of threats made against the high school. Unfortunately, subsequent claims have been made as well. However, none of those have been substantiated.
While I realize these types of claims can cause fear to those who are not fully aware of the details, exacerbated by the knowledge that similar threats have actually been carried out in other places around the world, I am more concerned that the cause of that fear is due to the lack of trust some individuals have in our ability to do our jobs as educators and administrators. While I am also aware that there has been inappropriate reaction perpetrated by some adults involved, there has been no fewer than five administrators from the central office involved in mitigating the fear caused by the initial incident and the subsequent Facebook post.
To be clear, there is no threat of safety ongoing at Gadsden City High School. Students are safe to return to school. Unfortunately, however, I do not have the power to control what others post on Facebook, or send by Instagram or twitter. I can only assure you that the matter involving the initial claim is fully under control.
News outlets have contacted me and I have been completely transparent with them about the situation. Parents have been contacted to offer support for any fear they may have for their children’s safety at school. We cannot, however, perpetuate this matter by allowing kids to make false claims on Facebook or any other social media outlet without them providing proof of their knowledge that outweighs that of administrators and law enforcement. We have not nor will we name individuals who are under investigation or who may be the cause of the investigation. Any claim that we have done so is false.
I am painfully aware of how difficult it is to ask for your trust in matters such as this, but that is what I am doing here. We will continue in our diligence to resolve this matter in a way that poses no threat to anyone and that will allow all students involved to complete their matriculation in the safest manner possible.
With Warmest Regards,
Tony Reddick, Superintendent