Edwardsburg superintendent issues statement after Uvalde shooting

Published 5:00 pm Friday, May 27, 2022

EDWARDSBURG — Following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday that killed 19 children and two teachers, Edwardsburg Public Schools Superintendent James Knoll issued a statement Friday afternoon to parents and guardians.

“Our Edwardsburg Public School’s Community is shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas on Tuesday,” he said. “We share in the heartbreak all are feeling for the families who have lost a loved one due to this senseless act of violence. School should and must be a place where students feel completely safe and secure.”

Knoll said that, as an added precaution, he contacted local law enforcement officials to have an increased police presence in and around EPS buildings and at events until the end of the year.

In addition, Knoll said he contacted the president of Critical Incident Management – Edwardsburg’s contracted security firm – to review the district’s security procedures and confirm the district’s current practices.

Knoll asked parents and guardians to be patient at the entry doors as office personnel observe them through the camera and determine their needs. 

“It may take a few extra moments if you are carrying items or are unknown to the office personnel,” Knoll said.

Knoll added that safety and security is one of the top priorities of the district’s current bond campaign. He said improved entryways, redesigned reception security, cameras, doors, locks, etc. will be included in the bond proposal.

EPS addresses potentially threatening behavior by student

Knoll’s Uvalde statement was his second released Friday pertaining to school safety. A Friday morning statement detailed the district’s response to potentially threatening behavior Thursday afternoon.

According to Knoll, a middle school student overheard another middle school student mention the potential for gun violence on the bus ride home. The reporting student and family contacted local law enforcement, who in turn contacted EPS. A threat assessment was completed including visiting the offending student’s home. The threat assessment was determined to be low.

No specific threats were made towards a student or the student body. No weapons were discovered on campus, and at no time were any students in danger.

“Threats of any nature are against the District Code of Conduct, and can lead to very serious legal penalties,” Knoll said. “Please take a moment to discuss this issue with your child. Threats or threatening behavior have no place in our school or community. The consequences for making threats may be dire. We are fortunate to have a conscientious community that takes action.”