Highline Schools Super sends out letter about recent shooting in Des Moines

On Friday, May 13, Highline Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield sent out a notice to parents about the recent shooting of a Des Moines man by two boys who attend Pacific Middle School.

The boys – age 14 and 15 – were arrested for the shooting death of a 41-year old man in Des Moines on Friday, May 6 (read our previous coverage here).

In the letter, Enfield says that the district wants “to assure you that your student’s safety is our top priority every day.” She then lists four ways the district is attempting to deal with recent security concerns in Des Moines.

Here’s Enfield’s full letter:

Dear Families,

We want to inform you about a development that is impacting our community. Criminal charges have been filed against two boys who attend Pacific Middle School in connection with the shooting death of a man at a Des Moines apartment complex last Friday.

This is unsettling news, but we want to assure you that your student’s safety is our top priority every day. Here is what our school district is doing in response to this situation:

  • There is extra security and police presence at Pacific and Midway Elementary.
  • Pacific and district administrators and staff are working closely with our School Resource Officer, a Des Moines police officer assigned to Mount Rainier and Pacific. He is stationed in our schools during the school day and is our direct line to local police.
  • We are paying close attention to students who may be at risk of gang involvement or criminal behavior. With the help of community partners, we are intervening with students to keep them on track for success.
  • Pacific administrators have and will continue to remove from school any student who poses a safety threat to our students.

We also want to work together with you to keep all students safe. We strongly encourage you to talk with your children and remind them that if they hear or see anything that concerns them, they should tell any adult at school. We will listen and protect their confidentiality.

This and other recent incidents of gun violence in our community are unsettling to us all.

I have personally reached out to Des Moines Police Chief George Delgado and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and will be meeting with them to talk about how we can join with our community to address these tragic circumstances.

Please know that we will continue to do everything in our power to keep our students safe at school.

Susan Enfield, Ed.D.

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