Letters From Tonia

Campus Security Measures

Dear Bethany Families,

It has been a little over a week since the senseless killings took place in Uvalde, Texas. We are challenged yet again as our hearts pause to process the unnecessary loss of innocent life. I am angry and perplexed. As parents, we grieve with those families whose journeys are similar to ours; dads and moms doing the absolute best to ensure the safety and well-being of our children. I must confess for a moment I felt helpless and then I was reminded of this verse…

2nd Corinthians 4:8-9
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
Perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not abandoned;
Struck down, but not destroyed.”

During our hurt and anguish, we must pray for the families whose lives will never be the same. We must also continue to take care of our own children, hug them a little tighter and we must continue to live. Parents I want you to know that prior to this horrific incident, Bethany School has maintained secured safety measures to keep our campus safe.

 We are a locked campus. All visitors must enter, get clearance and sign-in to come on campus through the main office.
 If we do not recognize you at pick up, you will be asked to show proper legal identification for the release of your child.
 All weekly vendors on campus check in through the main office, are live scanned and registered with Department of Justice. For example, Webby Dance, Mrs. Fortune the speech pathologist, Fitness For All, etc.

 Elementary:
K-8 gates are locked from 8:20-2:55pm. When the gate is unlocked there is an employee present. For AM/PM Daycare, you must get buzzed in for drop off and/or pick up at designated times. There are bollards to prevent cars from randomly coming on campus. Bollards are removed when there is a school event. The wall on the K-8 side of campus separating us from the adjoining church was extended to 10ft to prevent intruders from coming on campus.

 Preschool:
The preschool gate is locked all day. Parents must get buzzed into the main office to be cleared on campus
or a Bethany employee will open the gate for you.

 All staff have walkie talkies, including church employees, to communicate during hours of operation.
 We practice safety procedures monthly which include fire drills, earthquake drills and level 1 & 2 lock downs. The staff and your children have practiced barricading and hiding themselves in closets, arranging cubbies and tables as barricades, and even hiding in classroom storage closets as a form of protection.
 Classrooms are generally locked during the day.
 All teachers and staff check to make sure doors are not “propped open”.
 We have a direct connect to the Long Beach Police Department.

The above security measures are not new. We have implemented and worked on the above preventative security measures since September. In addition to the above we pray daily. We pray for God’s security. We refuse to live in fear because of the following verse,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6 & 7

I would ask that you pray not only for families who mourn in Uvalde, Texas but for the safety of every child. Should you have any questions or concerns please stop by the front office. I am always available.

Mrs. Tonia Hill

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