Heartache and anger are the words that come to mind following senseless, violent acts against schools and the students placed in our care. There is a common bond among educators, and any tragedy in any school brings commiseration among all. We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy to the staff, students, and families at Robb Elementary School in Texas.

As the news stories, debates, and pleas to do something, anything to help quell these horrific events fill our media feeds, we want to share a reminder of what is in our control here at Bay City Public Schools. Resources are available and procedures in place that can help students and families cope with what they’re seeing on the news, be proactive in helping prevent violence, and be prepared with a safety plan.

BCPS employs a highly-trained counseling staff who are available to listen and talk with students in need. Students can make a request to any staff member if they wish to speak with a counselor. We also encourage parents and guardians to have age-appropriate conversations with students, and highly recommend resources made available through the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

OK2SAY is a statewide student safety program that BCPS participates in. Perpetrators of school violence often show warning signs, and law enforcement relies on outside communication to help identify and prevent potential acts. Anybody can submit a confidential tip by texting 652729 (OK2SAY), emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or calling 8-555-OK2SAY. If you see or hear something that you believe threatens school or student safety, please utilize this resource. Signage with reminders of this program are also placed within our buildings to keep students aware.

In collaboration with the Bay City Department of Public Safety and the Bay County Sheriff Department, BCPS has safety plans in place for a variety of emergency situations, including mass shooting events. Staff and students periodically receive training, and the plan is reviewed annually to implement best practices. This February, our Board of Education approved the purchase of door barricades, which are now being installed in all BCPS classrooms.

As we each look for ways to make sense of the senseless, we want to make clear that BCPS takes the safety of our students and staff seriously and hope you will join us in sharing the resources available in our community. Several weeks ago, we discussed plans to invite the community to speak with school safety personnel and local law enforcement to review school safety efforts, and will have a date to share soon for this important Community Feedback Forum.

If you have questions regarding school safety procedures, please feel free to contact the BCPS administrative team by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 989.686.9700. On behalf of our administrative team and the BCPS Board of Education, we want to thank you for partnering with us and keeping safety a top priority.

Sincerely,

Dr. Stephen Bigelow, BCPS Superintendent

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