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Jennifer Smillie, IB Coordinator

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JICHS Safety Update

This is James Island Charter High with an update on the safety concerns at school.

We have increased police presence at school today. The school day is proceeding as normal. The school administration will consult with the Board of Directors on student attendance for today, February 23, 2018.   

We take every threat seriously. The only threat that has been reported to the school and police is what was posted on social media, which was that two sophomores were going shoot up the school at noon. No names or details have been given. The only response is “it is just a rumor going around school.” Again no names or details of any kind have been reported, which makes this threat not credible to the school or law enforcement. We strongly urge everyone to “See Something, Say Something.” However, posting vague threats on social media is not making us safer but doing the exact opposite. These posts have only incited fear into our students, parents, and community. This is not a responsible use of social media. Again, we will investigate any concern or rumor that is reported, that is our duty, but we need more than vague rumors that cannot be investigated.

On Monday morning, we will be randomly wanding students as they arrive. The staff will remain on high alert and vigilant. We staff our building every day to ensure the safety of our students. School safety is important to us every day, not just when rumors of a threat occur on social media.  We employ two police officers, four Student-Concerned Specialists (security personnel), five administrators, 100 teachers, and over 50 support staff members, all of whom have been trained on school safety protocols. Unfortunately, no place is completely safe. It can happen anywhere, which is why school safety is our top priority. We are ready every day to ensure the safety of our students.

Prior to these safety concerns and even before the Florida school shooting, school administration already had safety recommendations to make the JICHS Board of Directors at the February 26, meeting date. The following recommendations will be made to the Board of Directors on Monday, February 26, 2018:

    Random wanding of students in the mornings (this is our capacity at this time)

    Random classroom searches

    Random searches of student’s vehicles

    New motorized gates that secure the front the school during the school day

In accordance with SC Law, and in an effort to prevent students from bringing weapons and drugs on campus, schools may conduct periodic, random searches of students and their property on campus. The purpose of the random searches is deterrence. These protocols are used in other schools in this area and around the country.

We also need help from students and parents on basic school safety protocols. Students must wear their ID’s all the time while at school. We need to be able to identify on the spot who and why a person is in our building. That applies to everyone that walks through the school doors. Students are not allowed to wear hats, hoods, or earbuds in school. Again, we need to be able to identify all people. The earbuds are an issue because students cannot hear announcements, and even worse it gives them license to ignore adults in the building, which is a tremendous safety concern. The basic protocols are expectations at every middle and high in Charleston County. We did not create these rules to bother or annoy students but to keep our school safe.  

Parents you may be asking what else can I do, I strongly encourage you to read the safety flyer put out by CCSD. The “What Can Parents Do?” is a tremendous resource.     


I hope this answers the questions of parents who have called or emailed the school.


We live in dangerous times. Unfortunately, mass shootings have become commonplace in our country. There have actually been four school shootings in the past 40 days, not just the one in Florida. As a parent and educator, I think we all feel the same when hear about the these mass shootings. Every victim is someone’s son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother, friend or colleague. The tragedy that surrounds each victim weighs on us all.

I would like to thank you all for your patience and support as we work together to educate our children and KEEP THEM SAFE.

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