TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Yesterday, the Board of Trustees and Administration of Tallahassee Classical School (TCS) canceled its classes out of an abundance of caution to assess a possible threat to the school. The threat was reported by a TCS scholar to school officials the evening of Wednesday, October 19. TCS’ Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting via phone to provide transparency, resolution, and assurance to TCS’ families, staff, as well as members of the public.
Following school policy to “see something, say something,” a scholar attending TCS was forwarded a text message from a friend’s out-of-state friend threatening a mass shooting. The author of the text message and the school they intended to target unknown, the scholar reported it to a trusted adult shortly before 9:30pm Wednesday, October 19. TCS’ Administration took swift action, notifying law enforcement within minutes, which triggered an investigation. Within two hours of the report and in an abundance of caution, parents and staff were notified of the TCS Board of Trustees’ and Administration’s decisive action to protect scholar and teacher safety, canceling the next day’s classes, to allow proper time to assess the potential threat. Ultimately, it was determined that there was no threat to TCS or anyone affiliated with the school.
“When you send your children to our school in the morning, you have a right to their safe return at the end of the day,” said TCS Board Chairman Barney Bishop, III. “I am proud of the rapid action we took and the collaboration that ensued, especially with Leon County Schools’ Security Chief Jimmy Williams and LCSO Chief Chris Summers, to investigate the validity of this threat. Tallahassee Classical School is committed to delivering a virtue-rich, classical education and it starts with the safety and security of our scholars, faculty, and staff.”
“School safety is paramount,” said TCS Head of School Hope Carrasquilla. “We are thankful there is no threat of harm to our school, grateful for the support of our parents and staff, and proud of the caution we took to ensure our scholars’ safety. In addition to a rigorous curriculum, Tallahassee Classical School instructs the principles of moral character and civic virtue, and I am profoundly pleased to see those principles put so quickly into action to protect our school community. We look forward to honoring the scholar who saw something and took ownership to say something to protect their school.”
“As the parent of three small kids, I worry about their health and wellbeing more than anything else,” said Kim Hawkes, President of TCS’ Parent Service Organization. “I am exceedingly thankful for TCS’ leadership, their decisiveness to put our kids’ safety first, and transparency to share what happened and how it was handled. I’ve never been more confident in where I choose to send my children to receive their education.”
The TCS Scholar Code of Conduct outlines scholar responsibility to report knowledge of any threats or circumstances that that may jeopardize the health, safety, or property of others to a teacher, member of the TCS Administration, or the School Resource Officer (SRO).