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Important Update from Superintendent Tracy Wheeler | December 5, 2021

December 5, 2021

Titan Families,

This past week, the Berea City School District was confronted with 2 incidents involving students making threats towards our schools. Please be assured we have been working diligently in our investigation surrounding these threats. I can with 100% certainty tell you that at no time has any of our administration withheld any information from our families or staff. We always strive to communicate quickly. However, it is essential that what we share is accurate to keep you fully informed. 

At this point in time, I want to let everyone know that the students who made the threats have been identified by our administration and police departments. These types of threatening posts disrupt the school and cause fear for students and families. These students who have threatened our schools are receiving severe school disciplinary consequences and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

At no time was there a weapon in our schools this past week. Our investigation alongside local law enforcement found no evidence of a credible threat and we are confident that no danger existed or currently exists to our students or staff. I want to thank the Berea and Middleburg Heights police departments for all of their work that led to the identification of the students involved. 

Our District and many districts across the nation are currently filled with fear and uncertainty as a result of the recent tragedy in Michigan. Schools are meant to be a safe place and WE ALL play a role in school safety. Students should be observant and let an adult know if they see or hear something that makes them feel uncomfortable, nervous or fearful. Parents should be vigilant in monitoring their children’s social media and online behavior.  I do want to thank those students and parents who did reach out to either me or the administration to let them know about some of the posts that they were seeing. 

We also want to reiterate that rumors, innuendos, and misinformation by parents and students on social media do nothing but exacerbate situations in the District. If you believe you have pertinent information that will help the administration in any investigation, please contact us directly. 

To be clear, we are not saying parents should not be discussing their concerns among each other. We are asking for help in controlling the spread of "I heard" information that further causes panic or paints the wrong picture. We encourage students and parents to be cautious about spreading rumors, and to exercise good judgment and critical thought when sharing information with others.

I want to reassure our BCSD school community that the safety of our students and staff remains our top priority. This week, you will see, in addition to our School Resource Officers, an additional police presence in and around our middle and high schools. We all have to work together to keep each other safe and keep our schools a safe learning environment for everyone.

If your child could benefit from speaking to a school counselor, please don’t hesitate to contact the office. We want each and every one of our students to know that there is support available in each building. 

I share parents, students, and staff concerns for safety. Again, I want to assure you that all threats are taken seriously. If any time a legitimate threat exists, we will communicate that with families and never put our students and staff in a situation where any harm could be done to them. Please feel free to reach out to me or your building principal if you have any questions.

Remember, students and community members can anonymously report anything that is suspicious or endangering them, their friends or their school. 

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Be safe, be kind, and ALWAYS be a Titan!

Tracy L. Wheeler