Pray for sunshine and good weather for our fifth graders this week as they head to the Olympic National Forest for their three-day outdoor education experience. This is one of the highlights of their years at St. Anne School. Each year as I meet with the eighth graders for their “exit interviews”, the number one event they mention as their best memory is always OPI (Olympic Park Institute). They always have an excellent time, but sunshine and warm temperatures make it that much better!
This coming Sunday, our celebration of Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday liturgies. Lent is coming to an end as we prepare for the joy of Easter in just 12 days! Each morning during Lent, we have gathered as a school community in Banchero Hall to say a decade of the rosary and reflect on the needs of our human family across the world. Students are bringing in Rice Bowls each morning to support Catholic Relief Services. During Lent, our school theme of “This is My Body: Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given” has us reflecting on the “brokenness” Jesus experienced during his last days and the suffering in our world today. We continue to explore ways in which we can heal the anguish so many experience on a daily basis.
The Washington State Catholic Conference and the Washington Federation of Independent Schools are asking for parental assistance in contacting legislators regarding a bill that would require law enforcement to provide critical emergency communications to all schools.
Currently, when there is an emergency necessitating a lockdown or evacuation, we are typically not notified by law enforcement and have relied on parents, parishioners, neighbors or local public schools to alert us to bank robberies, police activity etc. We have even resorted to checking news outlets or contacting police if a number of helicopters are circling the area!
The state legislature is considering a bill (SSB-5514) that would require law enforcement to provide critical notifications to a school (whether public or private) when an emergency necessitating a lockdown or evacuation is happening in the school’s vicinity. This practice is not currently required by state law and there are many examples of schools not receiving notifications of threats to students and staff.
We would appreciate you contacting your representative today and encouraging them to support SSB-5514. The Washington State Catholic Conference Action Center can give you direct contact to your local representative and they even have an email message prepared for you if you do not want to create a personalized one.
SSB-5514 has received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Senate and needs only a full vote of the House of Representatives to send the bill to the Governor for his signature. Please take a few moments to contact your representative today.
Have a great week!