- Friends of Ingraham
FOI Student Safety Advocacy Update
We have received a response from School Board Director Liza Rankin and share it with you here:
Hello FOI Board,
I am speaking with the Superintendent this afternoon and will let you know any information shared with me about the status of the safety audit. I believe there are two pieces - the audit of the entire district and an incident review of the Ingraham shooting. These are related but separate pieces of work and I will ask for the timelines of both, for the dates of completion and how/when community will receive that information. In the Ingraham-specific review, it is my understanding that there have been changes made or at least identified, but I will ask for more specifics. Principal Floe might have more information about that, as well.
As far as the incident yesterday, the board was not notified but I did have a Hale and an Ingraham parent forward me the email that went out to both school communities via Principals Floe and Jackson. I am so relieved that swift action was taken, by someone reporting the social media post, and by the SPS team quickly following steps to have SPD intervene with the student and recover the weapon. While sadly the school district cannot limit children’s access to firearms in the community (although there has been important legislation passed this session at the state level to decrease gun violence) this showed that SPS and SPD took action that prevented the student from using the weapon at school.
I am also very interested in knowing if procedure was followed at Ingraham knowing that the student who killed a schoolmate had already brought weapons to school.
Here is the current policy on weapons in SPS:
And the accompanying Superintendent Procedure:
As you can see, it has not been updated in a decade. Starting next week, I am leading a complete board policy manual review and from that, creating a regularly calendared review of every single policy so that current and future boards will have a scheduled review of every board policy at least once every term (4 years) for policies that are more administrative/operational and once annually or bi-annually for board governance policies. The way we stand firm on community vision and values is by keeping policy continuously reviewed and updated to provide strong direction to the district. I have worked on individual policy changes as they have been needed (and as initiated by the board, such as Restraint and Isolation) but policy is one of the primary duties of the school board and there is not a structure in place to ensure that board members regularly review and amend policy with community, and it is absolutely critical. The Ad Hoc Policy Manual Committee will begin meeting next week, and all meetings are public and available to join by Teams or calling in.
Independent of the Policy Manual Review, I would be happy to come meet with you all about the weapons policy specifically and welcome feedback/suggestions for improvement you may have. Please let me know if you would be interested in that, or if you need more information about any of the things I have mentioned here. I will follow up with another email to you after I speak with Superintendent Jones about the safety audits this afternoon.
Liza Rankin (she/her)
Seattle School Board Vice President, Director District 1
Board Legislative Liaison - WSSDA, Federal, State
Parent of 2 SPS students
We’ve received questions about how the Ingraham community can take action to help our children be safer at school. Here’s how to request information, advocate for students, and get your concerns elevated.
FOI stands in strong support of Ingraham staff and the daily effort they are making to keep our students safe. Principal Floe makes himself available to parents via email and at monthly FOI board meetings, where you can participate in person or via Zoom. School staff is always a resource for you and your students in getting school-specific questions addressed. Ingraham has been provided with additional supports to help our staff and students process the trauma of the shooting in November.
What we are requesting is communication from SPS leadership at the district level to inform families of the following:
1. What is the process in place to support kids who are acting in ways that are dangerous to themselves and others
2. How can SPS leadership demonstrate that they are following the guidelines they have in place
3. What was found in the Safety Audit that will result in improvements to this process
4. How is SPS modifying the guidelines used to help our students given the results of the safety audit, the current teen mental health crisis, and the wide availability of guns in our community
We suggest that you contact SPS district level leadership to help them understand that our families need communication, accountability, and transparency to understand how they are working to make school safer for all of our children.
You can use Let’s Talk to send your concern to SPS leadership: https://www.seattleschools.org/about/contact-us/
You can write to your school board director for Ingraham, Liza Rankin (Liza.Rankin@seattleschools.org), or any of the board directors (School Board Let’s Talk link: https://www.k12insight.com/Lets-Talk/embed.aspx?L=PK1Z98N4B9LT).
If you receive a response with information that you would like to share with other IHS families, you can share it with FOI and we will share it with the community on your behalf.
A group of Ingraham parents have formed a Safety Committee and welcome participation. Contact their coordinator, Make, at email@example.com.
We hope that SPS leadership will respond and provide answers. FOI wants children in crisis to get the support they need to learn to make positive choices for themselves and their communities. When kids are acting out with threats and acts of violence, that is a clear indicator that something in our system is failing. We want to know how those failures are going to be addressed.
Contact FOI at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments.