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BOARD OF EDUCATION ISSUES STATEMENT ON SCHOOL BUS GARAGE SHOOTING

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The Cumberland County Board of Education issued a statement today regarding yesterday afternoons deadly shooting at the school bus garage:

The Cumberland County Board of Education would like to express our sincerest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims of yesterday’s tragedy at the Cumberland County Transportation Facility. We are extremely proud of the manner in which every agency involved converged on the scene to help us do our job to take care of our employees and students. To the transportation staff, we are so proud of the manner in which you conducted business even in the face of absolute tragedy. To state and local officials may we express our true gratitude for your immediate attention to our crisis. The outpouring of calls and texts from school districts, state and local officials were greatly appreciated. Offers of assistance from neighboring districts to help us get students home poured in as well as many prayers were offered for the victims, their families and our employees.

The call of the tragedy came to Central Services at approximately 2:30 p.m. from transportation supervisor, Ms. Rebecca Reed.  Superintendent, Janet Graham and Dr. Rebecca Wood, Chief Academic Officer left immediately to provide assistance to the transportation employees. The tragedy occurred at the time for dismissal of students from our twelve schools. Our primary concern and responsibility at the time was to get our students home safely and as promptly as possible while allowing emergency personnel and law enforcement to do their job. It was determined promptly that there was no reason to believe our students and faculties were at risk of harm in this situation. We immediately made calls to the schools affected by delays of buses and drivers that were unable to leave the transportation building. Principals were instructed to contact families of students using bus rosters that their driver could not run their route at that time and to advise parents or guardians they were welcome to come to the school to pick up their children or that another bus would come to the school following the delivery of the students of their usual route. Drivers completing their routes were dispatched to other schools assist in getting students home. Drivers were happy to take on an additional route to help get students home in a timely manner. Bo Magnusson, Director of School Security was on hand to aid law enforcement and to provide assistance and encouragement as we follow through on plans for emergencies. The role of Central Services personnel was to support our employees while fielding calls and responding to the public. The Board expresses their gratitude and appreciation to the administration for all they did to care for their most valuable resources, students and staff. The members of the Board would like to expressly covey their pride in the manner in which Ms. Graham, Dr. Wood, Mr. Magnusson, Ms. Reed and her staff at the bus garage handled a most difficult situation.

 Counselors will be on hand on Monday morning to greet the bus at the school(s) where our driver delivered students. We also will have a counselor to attend to the employees at our transportation facility.”

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