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A Note from Mr. Vannoy

Dear Sharpsville Educational Community:

Tragedy and school violence once again have struck the very core of our educational world. For the eighteenth time this calendar year, schools have not only experienced but have had to endure the nightmare of school violence. As a result of these tragedies, there is a call for a national student walkout on Wednesday, March 14th from 10:00 – 10:17 AM. This is a voluntarily movement. No one is being forced or mandated to participate. I would hope that before forming an opinion on the matter, one takes the opportunity to become knowledgeable on the true mission of the event and not allow their own personal views to taint the overall purpose of the event. 

The focus on this event is twofold. First and foremost, school violence has to be addressed and brought to an end. How many more events like Columbine, Chardon, Sandy Hook, and Stoneman Douglas need to take place before people seek change? The second component is to remember the victims of the Parkland shooting and to express solidarity with their peers across Pennsylvania and the nation regarding safety in our nation’s schools. 

We are at a crossroads not only in education but as a nation as well. We cannot allow this event to divide and alienate us as a community but rather rally to finally put school safety in the forefront. Not many true teachable moments present themselves. This truly can be an excellent opportunity for our students to learn from real life events. 

March 14th is not a Second Amendment issue, an anti-President Trump issue, a political firestorm, or an anti-gun issue. The issue is the safety of our schools. The notion that it is okay for people to shoot up our schools must stop. What exactly has changed from Columbine to Parkland? That is the question that our students have in regards to school safety. Kids need to and must feel safe in our schools. There is an old adage that it takes a village to educate a child. It will also take that very same village to protect that very same child.

It is time to truly listen to our students. Maybe their voice can be the spark that will generate change that will help make our schools safe. Is that bad? Should kids just be quiet? Is their voice not important? These are the questions that we need to answer. We as the adult role models must foster the notion that our kids’ safety is paramount and that we all here to listen and assist them in their endeavors to promote both unity and school safety in our communities across this great nation. 

I urge you to please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Education and knowledge are the keys to successfully help our students navigate these trying moments that currently are present in our society. Together we can seek and make change.

Yours in education,

John Vannoy

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