Superintendent's Second Letter to Parents and Students

October 7, 2002
A second letter from Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools, is being sent home to parents, students, and staff today [Monday, October 7]. The letter is attached as a PDF file, and the text follows below.

October 7, 2002

Dear Parents, Students, and Staff:

The tragic shooting today of a student in Prince George’s County prompted increased security measures in our school system in consultation with Montgomery County Police. I am writing to update you on the measures that we have taken to ensure the continued safety and security of our students and staff.

Principals were directed this morning to implement “Code Blue” procedures to assure that all students and staff were accounted for and that exterior doors were locked. Classes and other activities inside the school buildings continued, but changes were made for exterior activities. All outdoor activities, including recess and open lunch, were canceled. Afternoon kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes were canceled. Morning kindergarten classes were dismissed at the regular time at mid-day. In addition, all field trips, classes at the Thomas Edison High School of Technology, and school-related after school activities were canceled.

The Department of Student and Community Services, which includes guidance counselors and school psychologists, has created a very good resource guide for staff members and the community to use in times of crisis. The guide includes advice on how to address fear, anxiety, and other worries that children and adults may have in response to recent events. This resource guide will be available in schools tomorrow and through our web page today at

The events of the past week require all of us to maintain a sense of vigilance and flexibility. Events may require continued changes in school operations, and I ask that everyone be patient and understanding. We continue to work closely with the Montgomery County police and other officials to ensure the continued protection of our school system, and I am confident that we are receiving the best advice possible.


Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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