Grayson County News-Gazette file photo Grayson County Schools Superintendent Doug Robinson

Grayson County News-Gazette file photo

Grayson County Schools Superintendent Doug Robinson

In light of the recent arrests of multiple Grayson County teachers for sex charges, Grayson County Schools Superintendent Doug Robinson has issued an open letter to the community regarding the school district's actions and policies to prevent such activity.

The full letter reads as follows:

A Letter to Our Community:

Recent events, especially of the past week, have been devastating, for our school families, for our staff, and for our community.

In this particular moment, the actions of a few overshadow the overwhelming good that takes place every single day and in every single school throughout this district.

I've long held that in any community there should be two safe havens - church and schools. And right now, some are doubting that Grayson County Schools should be included on that short list.

You've heard me state time and time again that safety is our #1 priority. And it's true. I realize that statement may ring a little hollow right now, though.

As a former teacher, I can assure you that our staff is fully committed to the protection and security of every child entrusted to us. As a parent, I can assure you that we consider them as our own when they are with us.

We've always had any number of protections in place to ensure student safety. These are evaluated and revised on both an ongoing and as-needed basis.

Every member of our staff undergoes a thorough federal and state background check. Every one commits to a stringent Code of Ethics.

We continually conduct trainings and professional development.

We stay updated on technologies and social media applications, blocking many of those along with websites inappropriate for the learning environment.

We've seen recently that the "see something, say something" mantra we've encouraged, especially this school year, is working. Recent events, while more than troubling, have brought to light the consequences of inappropriate conduct, especially with students.

We're seeing that our students feel comfortable talking with someone - an adult, a teacher or administrator, a Resource Officer - in our schools. They've seen that we will listen. They've seen that we will take their concerns seriously. They've seen that we will act.

And we will continue to act.

In the past few days, we've had conversations with staff at both GCHS and GCMS. In the next week we will extend those conversations to our elementary schools. These conversations will continue as they become even more a part of our daily fabric.

As we move forward, we will take a variety of additional steps to increase awareness, as well as strengthen professional development in the areas of ethics, student interaction and professional relationships, and appropriate technology use.

The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification has introduced a new and even more stringent Model Code of Ethics for Educators and all school personnel. We will provide training on that prior to the upcoming school year.

With the 2018-19 school year, we will launch an anonymous tip line for any safety-related reporting, including bullying, inappropriate behavior, mental health issues and a suicide crisis line.

We are also investigating a number of additional resources and programs for students, their families and staff.

These measures will provide an additional sense of security and protection for our students. They will provide consistent reinforcement throughout our district. They will also provide an additional layer of security and peace of mind to all our staff - those doing the right things in the right ways and for the right reasons.

We will continue to frequently and consistently monitor and update safety standards and practices.

We will maintain open communication and dialogue - with our staff, our students, our families and our community.

We'll continue to encourage "see something, say something." We will aggressively pursue any allegation.

We will also continue to share all the good that takes place in every Grayson County school, every single day. We have an incredibly dedicated staff that makes endless positive impacts on the lives of our students, their families and our community.

We will work diligently to begin rebuilding trust with our families and with our community. Please join us in these efforts. Together we will succeed.

Doug Robinson, Superintendent