Letters to the Editor, May 7-10, 2016
May 6, 2016
Parent still shaken by school district’s lack of communication
I sent this letter to Park City School Superintendent Ember Conley:
I have to admit I am absolutely shocked about the actions taken by Park City School District Tuesday with the potential act of violence. When our children are potentially in jeopardy there is no excuse for not notifying the public as soon as you know.
I was notified via email on May 2 at 10:04 p.m. The email came from a "NoReply Message" email address and seemed like a SPAM email. Wouldn’t you think it should come from Park City School District and be an urgent message?
Thankfully nothing happened on May 3. But there was no communication on the specific actions taken by the district to ensure our children are safe. Did the FBI conduct a sweep of all schools on Kearns for any potential weapons? These are serious threats and are federal crimes and should be addressed properly with federal authorities. I do not feel the proper safety matters have been taken based on your communication. Has this threat moved to a different day with others involved?
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Knowledge of this threat has been known for way too long and there is no transparency with the school district. We checked our child out of Treasure but, I am more concerned about other potential threats at this point. This seems to have been swept under the rug for many months and not brought out to the public until it is all over social media. How many more threats have you neglected to communicate or address properly? Our children are in danger even if they are not the target. Guns, bombs, and other devices kill others that are not the intended target.
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Help support high school’s safe graduation party
Next month, over 300 students will be a part of the 2016 Park City High School graduating class. To honor these students and their accomplishments, the PCHS PTSO continues the tradition of hosting the official "Grad Night." This is a really fun, safe, alcohol- and drug-free celebration and FREE to all graduating seniors from Park City High School and the Park City Winter Sports School.
Grad Night is on Friday, June 3, from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. at Jupiter Bowl. The night includes a DJ, hypnotist show, TapSnap photos, bowling, entertainment, swag bags, food and nonalcoholic beverages, and LOTS of prizes and cash giveaways.
While the evening is free to all graduates, we rely entirely on donations from senior class parents and local businesses to keep this tradition alive and memorable. Donations of any amount are appreciated, and are tax-deductible.
Please encourage your senior graduate to attend this popular annual event.
For donation information, please contact Gwen Dudik at 435-640-1873 email@example.com. Financial support may be mailed to PCHS PTSO Grad Night, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City, UT 84060.
Thank you, in advance, for helping keep our Park City teens and fellow drivers safe on this memorable night of celebration.
Kim Eastman Deimling
on behalf of the PCHS Grad Night Committee
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Support for a Park City school board candidate
Petra Butler may be new to the School Board race, but Park City couldn’t hope for a better candidate. Aside from being an involved and caring mother, Petra comes with a long list of accomplishments and life/work experiences that make her uniquely qualified for a position on the School Board. I’ve had the opportunity to know Petra since the mid 1990s as a teammate while serving on the FBI’s Evidence Response Team in Los Angeles, as a colleague investigating and arresting child predators, as an outstanding FBI supervisor for the Cyber and Child Exploitation squad, and as a friend.
In all of our interactions, Petra has stood out as a person guided by a fair and practical compass, with a selfless focus on mission, efficiency, and effectiveness. She has witnessed firsthand and understands the challenges and threats that today’s children face in their journey to becoming educated and productive citizens.
Having successfully navigated the world of federal bureaucracy, Petra also brings to the table the ability to work around obstacles, problem solve, and negotiate to bring together unlikely allies toward a common goal. Without a doubt, people can expect from Petra a dedicated professional who will put the students’ welfare above all else.
How to spread mass panic to high schoolers and their families
Email parents with the subject line "Potential Threat."
Parents and faculty of the Park City School district were informed of a threat by a short email from the school’s superintendent, Dr. Ember Conley, at 10 p.m. ,May 2. I can say as a student, by 10:15, the panic began to spread on social media with postings, "Don’t Go To School" or "I’m scared, I don’t wanna die."
Throughout the night, rumors spreading, the students were terrified to go to school the following day. Largely because the email was vague, without specifics, leaving room for imaginations to run wild. Stating, "Superintendent Conley confirms there will be an increased police presence on the Kearns campus tomorrow," increased, rather than allayed, everyone’s fears.
Clearly our students’ mental health was not considered when drafting this email. Statistically, 50-75 percent of teens under 18 have anxiety disorders. (Adolescence Mental Health In the United States by Susan Wile Schwarz on http://www.nccp.org/)
As a teen, I believe we should be focused on our grades, friends and work. Not whether we are safe to attend school. Unlike most, I did attend school on May 3. I did not see any additional police presence in the halls or around campus, as Dr. Conley claimed. The parking lot was eerily empty and my class had a total of six students. Seeing the effects of the email and a poorly thought-out plan infuriated me. This showed a lack of forethought by the administration and unnecessarily terrified the families of Park City.
We cannot go back and redo this night, but I hope that the Board of Education hears all the families’ concerns and responds accordingly.
Park City High School, 11th grade