Superintendent's Letter on New Events

October 24, 2002
A new letter (#13) is being sent to parents, students, and staff today [Thursday, October 24] from the superintendent, and the text is below. The letter is available on the web at

October 24, 2002

Update #13

Dear Parents, Students, and Staff:

Changes have occurred so quickly in Montgomery County during this continuing emergency that anything said in the morning often has had to be updated later in the day. Such is the case today, with news of two arrests early this morning, followed by uncertainty at mid-day. I know these frequent changes in events and the continuing ambiguity are difficult for everyone.

At the time this letter was written, we announced that ongoing security precautions and the prohibition of outdoor activities would remain in place, until otherwise notified. I have stayed in constant communication with Montgomery County police and government officials, and we will be informed of any change in the current threat status. Until then, school staff members should continue to be vigilant and prudent in the operation of our schools.

At the same time, we are continuing to search for ways of permitting our school athletes to practice in the hope of completing their season competitions and qualify for state tournaments. Our efforts are ongoing, and I am optimistic that we will be able to have at least the opportunity for practices at undisclosed and secure locations. For obvious reasons, we will not discuss publicly what plans may or may not be available.

Unless changes occur later today or evening in the resolution of the crisis, schools will continue to operate on Friday, October 25, with restrictions on outdoor activities.

The continuing fear and anxiety remains very real. Earlier this week, one school implemented the Code Red procedures for maximum security when gunshots were heard from an adjacent wooded area. It was later learned that the sounds came from a nearby cemetery conducting a veteran’s burial ceremony. This explanation did not lessen the impact of the fear felt at that school. To the staff and students in the school and to the police who responded, it was perceived as a real and threatening event.


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

For the latest updates, see below.

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