In praise of responsive principal and staff at Starr’s Mill High School

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It’s awfully easy to take to these pages to criticize this person or that policy, and heaven knows I’ve done that quite a bit.

But I’d like to follow-up my earlier letter about the recent threat of violence at Starr’s Mill High School to commend Principal Allen Leonard and the administration in general.

They not only listened to the concerns of myself and many others, but responded in an appropriate and considerate way by agreeing to categorize student absences on the day in question (October 3) as “excused” instead of as “unexcused,” as they had originally done.

In my book, this is how a school system and the community it serves should work together: not as opposites fighting for the upper hand, but as partners in the sacred duty of educating children, with due back-and-forth to find the best solution to a given problem.

Principal Leonard and his staff also should be praised, in my opinion, for how they handled yet another incident today, November 3rd, just one month after the first incident. A suspicious person appeared at Starr’s Mill High School this morning; coaches spoke with the individual and then notified the student resource officer (SRO), who attempted to intervene, but was unable to do so because the suspect had fled in their pickup truck.

The school nevertheless was put on a “soft lockdown” with all outdoor activities cancelled and a letter was sent to the families at 9:11 a.m.

Fortunately, at 1:14 p.m., another letter was sent informing us that the suspect had been found and issued a “criminal trespass” warning.

I believe we should praise officials for warning us about the situation very early in the process, taking rational steps to deal with it, and notifying us of the resolution.

If only all of our public officials were so responsive and conscientious in the execution of their duties! But, I won’t digress.

I’ll say it again: I am proud and thankful to live in Fayette County, where we have good schools, good people, and good community spirit all ordered towards individual and familiar flourishing.

God bless our students and the school administration! Especially as they and we all struggle to deal with some of the craziness of our times.

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.

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