Words for Christian Hearts: Safety is a Top Priority

It appears that PCA will weather the flu outbreak without having to close the campus. While many schools across the state were forced to suspend classes to prevent the spread of germs, we were able to contain it with the help of diligent faculty members and families. Thank you for your continued efforts to control the outbreak. In this month’s blog, I want to address school safety in the aftermath of the most recent school shooting. Today’s culture demands that we continue to focus our priorities on the safety of PCA students while on campus.

Safety has been and will continue to remain a strategic priority. Continued mass shootings are difficult to discuss but force us to continuously evaluate PCA’s emergency response plans to determine what, if any, changes are required.  Well-trained administrators and faculty members are the cornerstone of all PCA’s safety plans. While protecting students with everything, up to their own life, is a tremendous responsibility, administrators and faculty members are ready if necessary. We are also fortunate to have several great partnerships with our local law enforcement and emergency response teams – many of whom are on campus regularly. Coordinated discussions with these agencies are ongoing and ever-changing based on the different types of emergency scenarios. Continuous threat assessment and reporting is the best strategy for mitigating violence – and there’s a plan for that as well.

Some of the best parts of my day are spent helping students unload and load from their vehicles.  The larger-than-life smiles, hugs, fist bumps, outpouring of love, and high-fives increases the hope that I have in the future. Watching students and parents exchange I love you’s is nothing short of marvelous. I, along with all administrators and faculty members, work every day to protect this innocence from the evil that exists in this world.

As concerned as I am about large-scale violence, I also equally consider other safety concerns such as the hectic nature of PCA’s morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.  Each weekday, nearly all of PCA’s 690 students arrive and leave within a quick 30-minute window of time. Let’s take a moment to discuss some potential safety challenges that we can overcome together in this area.

  • Observe the speed limit and watch for pedestrians.
  • Cell phone use while operating a moving vehicle on campus is strictly prohibited.
  • Never leave vehicles unattended in the car lines.
  • During afternoon pick-up, do not enter the building to pick up a student. If you wish to park and pick up your child, please give your child’s name to the staff member with the walkie-talkie near the building, and they will call them out for you.
  • When dropping off or picking up students, pull as far down as instructed before stopping the vehicle.
  • Finally, follow the directions of and remain courteous to PCA’s three traffic guards.

Lastly, always report anything you see on campus that concerns you to an administrator or local law enforcement.  We will remain vigilant and ready as we pray God’s protection over our PCA family.

My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a powerful demonstration by the Spirit so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.  1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Thank you for reading!

Ron Mitchell, Ed.D.

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