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RE: What steps are being taken by the school district?
by Superintendent Harry E. Martin


February 14, 2004

I appreciate both the questions asked by Mr. Mackey and the comments given by Mr. Davis. I am sitting here on Saturday morning writing this at my desk in the Central Office area of the high school where my office is located. You see, I too had to evacuate the building, and so am making up time lost.

I have been debating, ever since I first read Mr. Mackey's letter, how to answer what the school district is doing. The debate is what do we want most: to catch this person(s); or to have the threats cease? I think everyone would agree we would like to have both. This is a felony and if a person(s) is caught, we will prosecute. However; we are an educational institution whose main job is to educate students and it is much harder to do this if we are not in school.

With that being the case, I have decided it is better to let people know of the items we have put into place recently in order to stop these unwanted threats and let parents know the safety of the students is a priority. These safeguards have cost the district extra money and extra time to install, but we feel they have become necessary to eliminate this type of activity.

We now have our computer network set up so only people in the building where the printer is located will be able to print to that printer. We also now have software that allows us to determine which computer has printed to which printer and the time that this occurred. And to narrow the field more, many of the high school teachers (especially in the lab classes) have begun checking out keyboards to students so we can tell even more definitively who was on what computer when.

Our last threat was by phone. Now that this has occurred, we will be able to put a phone trap on the phone system to tell what number any threatening calls are made from. It is much better than caller ID so numbers will not be blocked out.

In addition to these internal safeguards, we have established money for a reward to be given to whomever gives us information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. The high school started this reward pool with $200. The teachers have since donated another $600 to make the reward now worth $800. I suspect this sum may increase further over the next week.

I hope this information makes it clear that the School District is taking steps necessary to make our schools safe places for students to attend and be provided a very good education. Here's to sleeping in on Saturday morning!


Harry E. Martin
Ketchikan, AK - USA



Related Viewpoints:

RE: What steps are being taken... by Hunter Davis - Ketchikan, AK - USA

What steps are being taken by the school district? by Kevin Mackey - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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