Today, I am writing to address a matter that has deeply affected our school community over the past few days. It is with a mix of relief, gratitude, and reflection that I share this message with you. As many of you are aware, a social media threat was made against the school district this past weekend. In these trying times, it’s easy to let fear and uncertainty consume us, but it’s also during such moments that the strength of our community truly shines.

We want to commend the Cedar Rapids Police Department for their professionalism, dedication, and unwavering commitment to resolving this matter. Their assistance and resources were paramount in ensuring the safety and security of our community. We are grateful for the support they provided us concerning the enhanced security measures that were implemented over the week. This collaboration between two governmental agencies serves as an example of civic responsibility and the invaluable support of our partners in law enforcement.

We would like to express our utmost gratitude to our parents for entrusting us with the safety and security of your students. We understand the apprehension and distress that can arise during such an incident, especially when an active investigation is underway. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time, knowing that we cannot always reveal all the pertinent details to safeguard the integrity of the case and to prevent copycat incidents. Your cooperation is crucial in helping us to make our schools better. Please speak to your students and let them know that fighting, violence, and any other forms of misconduct that may jeopardize the safety of others are unacceptable in our schools and in our community.

To our staff, you deserve nothing but the highest praise for your unwavering support and cooperation through this ordeal. We understand that these are unprecedented and difficult times, but despite the challenges, you came together as a united front, showing resilience, determination, and compassion. As an administrative team and on behalf of the Board of Education, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for your uncompromising allegiance to our students. Despite feeling unsure and uneasy, you showed up to school each day and provided reassurance and a sense of stability for our students, fostering an environment where they feel safe and supported. Your steadfastness inspires the community to place their trust in our system. We see you, and we thank you.

Students, we want you to know that we deeply care about your well-being and believe in your strength and resilience. It is imperative that we come together to end all the senseless fighting, violence, and threats that have been taking place in our schools and community. This is your moment to take a stand and say, “enough is enough.” We urge you to speak up and report any suspicious activities or behaviors that you come across. You should feel safe and secure in your schools because living in fear is not conducive to academic success or personal growth. We want to remind you that these threats are not harmless pranks, and they will be taken seriously. It is time for us to rise up and work together to create a safer and more conducive learning environment for everyone.

While this incident has been difficult, it has also served as a reminder of the importance of fostering a culture of unity, empathy, and vigilance. We must continue to look out for one another and work to provide a nurturing environment for our students to learn and grow. As we move forward, I want to reassure you that we will continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We will also work to provide support and resources for those who may need it during this time of healing and recovery.

Here’s to working together as a united community to foster an atmosphere of trust, support, and positivity!

-Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover