Update From The Superintendent

Update From The Superintendent
Posted on 12/02/2021

December 2, 2021

Dear Royal Oak Schools Community,

As we continue to process the tragedy that occurred in our county earlier this week, we understand how overwhelming the process is on everyone. Information being shared with us about rumors or social media posts is being investigated, and we still have no known credible threats.

Based on talking with and listening to staff and students today at this highly stressful time, we are making the decision to:

  • cancel classes for all students and school staff tomorrow;
  • cancel activities at schools tonight and tomorrow;
  • after-school latchkey today is still open for those who have already planned to be there.

We appreciate the students and parents who are sharing what they are hearing or seeing on social media. We also need students to stay off social media with unnecessary posts. Messages that come across as jokes, threats, or cryptic messages are harmful. Anyone connected to making a threat to a school, classmates, or staff will be disciplined to the fullest extent possible.

Our leadership team continues to work closely with the Royal Oak Police Department on any information we receive, review our safety and security plans, and be ready to receive students back on Monday.

Events like these can be difficult to understand and process for children. If school staff or parents see that a student needs additional support, please contact the building administrator who can coordinate support within the school building or the community. In addition, we would like to share the following information provided by our district support staff. Please consider these resources when talking with your children.

Guidance on how to talk to students about traumatic events:

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event and National Resources

Talking about violence - Tips for Parents and Teachers

Community Resources:

  • Common Ground - helps community members in crisis. Call 1-800-231-1127; Text "Hello"; Chat with a crisis counselor.
  • Oakland County crisis/suicide line - call 1-800-231-1127.
  • OK2SAY - We encourage students to talk to a trusted adult if they see or hear something that doesn't seem right. They can also report information anonymously using OK2SAY. Call 855-565-2729; text 652729; or email [email protected].
  • For emergencies, dial 911.

"When a large-scale tragedy occurs, it can cause strong and deeply felt reactions in children. These may include, but are not limited to shock, disbelief, fear, guilt, grief, confusion, shame, loss, and anger. Some vulnerable students may experience more severe reactions, including absenteeism, increased suicide risk, increased use of drugs or alcohol, decreased school performance or extreme behavioral responses. These students should be referred for further mental health intervention" - National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

Take care,

Mary Beth Fitzpatrick

Royal Oak Schools Superintendent