Corsicana Mayor Don Denbow comments on school safety:
I recently attended a public event and was reminded of the role I filled
for many Corsicana children during my years with the Corsicana Independent
School District. I was greeted by two young men who called me “Coach
Mayor.” Even though I no longer have a connection with the District, the
excitement of a new school year and new coaching season never leaves me.
As I think about the new school year I want to share some alarming
statistics as a reminder for citizens to work together for the safety of
Fifty-one percent of all incidents of violence and threats against schools
took place in just ten states during the 2017-18 school year, according to
a report published in USA Today in August. Texas is among the ten “states
of concern” which accounted for 1,851 threats of violence out of 3,654
nationwide, according to the Educator’s School Safety Network.
Since the shooting incident at Columbine High School, more than 135,000
students have lived through school shootings. Teens and children in 164
schools nationwide have been exposed to gun violence. Surveys from The
National Center for Education Statistics in 2015 revealed that
approximately 37 out of 1,000 students age 12 to 18 experienced violent
victimization in school. A telling statistic is that about 10% of students
in Texas said they felt unsafe and skipped school at least once within 30
days before the survey. Incidents of violence have been shown to
negatively affect attendance rates, graduation rates, academic performance
and overall perceptions of safety. It is worth noting, however, that
despite these alarming statistics, schools remain very safe spaces for
children, with deaths at schools accounting for less than one percent of
all deaths among children ages 5 to 18 in the United States.
Corsicana ISD announced this week that they have hit a record breaking
enrollment of more than 6,000 students attending nine campuses across the
district. This is wonderful news for Corsicana and a huge responsibility
for our community. Many local departments and enforcement agencies such as
the Corsicana Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Navarro County Office of
Emergency Management, Navarro County Sheriff, Office of Public Safety, CISD
Police, and CISD Superintendent are strategically focused on student safety
and have been working closely together to ensure safety plans and protocols
throughout the community and school district. I commend their efforts and
want to be sure our community continues to be vigilant in their awareness,
support and reporting efforts to keep student safety a priority in
Corsicana. It takes all of us working together to keep our children safe.
Safety at school starts at home. We cannot expect our teachers, coaches,
school administrators and public safety officers to keep our children safe
if parents are sending them to school with tools to harm fellow students.
As simple as this sounds, it is important to remember to be involved in
every aspect of a child’s school day. Ask questions to find out how things
go at school each day, what they did with their friends, who made an
impression on them (positively and negatively) and how they are feeling.
All too often we read about an incident involving violence at school and
the media reports past concerns or fellow students say they were afraid of
the student. Our children have a keen sense of situations and can help all
of us create a safe environment.
Because the average juvenile spends about half the time they are awake in
educational environments, it is essential to ensure that they do not fear
for their well-being while at school or in extra-curricular activities. We
are all responsible for this sense of safety and connection to the
community. Please give your child’s teachers the support they need by
being aware of your child’s concerns and reporting those concerns to school
officials. Know what your child is taking with them to school and why. By
doing so, we will all have the enjoyment of seeing young people become
productive members of society when they remind us of the roles we played
during their school years.
Mayor Don Denbow
City of Corsicana