SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Seminole County Public Schools Superintendent Serita Beamon issued a statement Friday addressing this week’s shooting at Seminole High School.
16-year-old Da’raveius Smith has been charged with attempted murder after police say he shot an 18-year-old classmate just before noon Wednesday in a building on campus.
The victim was shot three times, police said. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover.
In the statement addressed to families and staff members, Superintendent Beamon called the shooting an “inexcusable act of violence” and outlined some of the steps that will be taken in response.
Beamon said they’ve deployed a Crisis Response Team of mental health counselors to Seminole High School for any students or staff members who need it.
There will also be an increased law enforcement presence at all SCPS campuses moving forward, “for further support and peace of mind.”
Once the investigation into the shooting is complete, Beamon says they’ll use the findings to help determine potential ways to improve security across the district.
“While the SCPS community is aware of some of these ongoing efforts such as fencing, security cameras, and SROs on every campus, the district also employs a variety of safety and security measures that cannot be shared publicly as another layer of safety and protection,” Beamon’s statement said.
She also commended the first responders and Seminole High School staff for their action in response to the shooting.
“This incident does not define the great institutions that are Seminole High School and the 9th Grade Center, nor does it define our school district.”
Read the full statement below:
Good Evening SCPS Families and Staff:
As you begin your weekend, I want to take a moment to address the inexcusable act of violence that occurred on the campus of Seminole High School on Wednesday. First and foremost, our hearts and thoughts go out to the student who was injured and to his family. While this incident was an isolated event, it was disturbing for all of those involved. Such criminal behavior is not and will not be tolerated in Seminole County Public Schools. School should be a safe haven of learning for our children and not a place for fear.
I want to commend the swift action of our School Resource Officers, local law enforcement agencies, Fire Department and EMTs who arrived on scene to subdue the threat, secure our campus, and render aid.
To our resilient students and staff of Seminole High School and the 9th Grade Center, we applaud and are thankful for your actions of quickly engaging in your lockdown protocols to help secure and safeguard everyone on campus. To the Seminole High School team, led by Dr. Rodriguez and Ms. Washington, your actions on Wednesday demonstrated that educators are true heroes who put our students first. This incident does not define the great institutions that are Seminole High School and the 9th Grade Center, nor does it define our school district.
We’ve deployed our Crisis Response Team of mental health counselors to Seminole High School and the 9th Grade Center to assist any student or staff member that may request their services. We’ve also added an additional law enforcement presence for further support and peace of mind. Be assured that although this is still an active and on-going investigation, we remain fully engaged in the process and are working directly with our local law enforcement partners on next steps.
Our school safety and security protocols are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Once we have all the details regarding how this event unfolded, we will utilize that information to help determine potential areas of enhancement, not just for Seminole High School, but all our SCPS campuses across the district.
While the SCPS community is aware of some of these ongoing efforts such as fencing, security cameras, and SROs on every campus, the district also employs a variety of safety and security measures that cannot be shared publicly as another layer of safety and protection.
Ultimately, our greatest asset for prevention are our very own students, families, and community. We need every community member to partner with us by sharing information with your schools that we can use to help keep our students safe. Please – if you “See Something, Say Something, Do Something!” Potential Incidents can be prevented by fully utilizing our anonymous SpeakOut Hotline and P3 Campus app.
We recognize the trust you extend to us every day when you send your students to our schools. Please know that when it comes to our students and staff, safety and security is and always will be our number one priority.
- Seminole County Public Schools Superintendent Serita Beamon
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