Across the nation, schools are observing an increase in concerning student behaviors that are linked to social media, especially the app TikTok. As many CMCSS schools communicated with families a few weeks ago, an increase in vandalism and theft in schools and on buses was linked to a TikTok challenge. Recently, the District has been made aware of other planned challenges that promote crimes such as assaulting employees, sexual assault, and public nudity.
“These social media challenges may appear to be harmless or fun to an adolescent, but what parents need to clearly understand is that these thoughtless actions will come with serious consequences,” stated Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson. “I have heard some say ‘what is the big deal, it’s just a soap dispenser’ or ‘I was just messing around.’ The reality is, the damages left behind to school property and the invasion or violation of another student or staff member’s person can easily lead to thousands in fines and restitution for parents to pay and a felony offense for their child. I encourage parents to pay close attention to what their children are doing and intervene where it is needed. We plan to take the most appropriate action necessary to help resolve this issue and get their attention.”
In addition to concerns about TikTok challenges, there are other digital dangers like cyberbullying, child exploitation, sharing personal information, and offensive content.
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the leading federal law enforcement agency that investigates crimes involving exploitation of minors,” said Nashville HSI Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet Jr. “Our agents continually work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes and identify and rescue victims. While the internet is a great way to interact with friends and family, as well as meet new people, predators know this and actively stalk online meeting places such as chat rooms and social media sites. Education and community awareness regarding the dangers of online activity is extremely important.”
Finally, when a threat of violence is brought to our attention, we take it seriously and move forward to take the necessary action. Law enforcement and school officials work together to investigate. We will be vigilant in finding individuals responsible, and, as Sheriff Fuson has stated, “any and everybody involved will be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
School Resource Officers and CMCSS employees work diligently to keep our schools safe, but it takes the entire community working together to provide a secure educational environment. We are asking parents and guardians to please talk to their children about online safety, appropriate behaviors, and consequences for criminal behaviors and offenses in theStudent Code of Conduct.
Additionally, please talk to your children about the importance of immediately reporting any safety concern to an adult. Whether it is on social media or in the schoolhouse, if you see or hear something, say something. Please report concerns of school violence to officials, do not post or repost rumors or threats on social media.
Thank you for your support.
The following are a few resources on internet safety for parents/guardians:
On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, the CMCSS School Board established a face mask requirement for students and employees indoors in CMCSS facilities when physical distancing is not possible. This requirement will be effective Monday, September 20, 2021, and will be revisited by the School Board at each monthly Formal School Board Meeting through January 11, 2022, when the requirement is set to expire. Parent(s)/guardian(s) can opt their child out of this requirement.
To streamline the opt-out process for parents/guardians and minimize the paperwork burden on employees, the Technology Department sent an electronic form to parents/guardians via text and email on Sep. 16. If you did not receive a customized electronic form for your child or had trouble accessing the form, you can complete the opt-out form linked here and return to your child’s school nurse. Please contact your child’s school if you need support with the opt-out process.
To access the CMCSS COVID-19 Dashboard, health and safety protocols, previous health and safety updates, and more, please visit cmcss.net/covid19
CMCSS has communicated with families since last year that schools cannot eliminate the spread of COVID-19 during in-person learning, but our collective actions can help mitigate the spread. The District’s COVID-19 mitigation strategy has always been about using multiple layers to improve success, sometimes referred to as the Swiss Cheese model. For the 2021-2022 school year, CMCSS has been using the following primary mitigation layers:
Using MERV 13 instead of MERV 9 filters in all buildings
Increasing outdoor air ventilation
Employing enhanced two-step cleaning throughout buildings
Encouraging self-screening, masks, handwashing, covering sneezes, and staying home when sick for all students, employees, and visitors
Identifying opportunities to promote physical distancing when possible in schools
Replenishing hand sanitizing stations
Promoting the use of personal water bottles and filling stations while water fountains are shut down
Establishing School Health Screening Rooms
Providing vaccination opportunities and COVID-19 testing for employees and their families at Onsite Employee Health and Wellness Clinics
To add more layers to CMCSS’ mitigation strategy, effective Monday, August 23, the following protocols will take effect until Montgomery County goes back down to moderate/low transmission levels:
Modifying custodial procedures to further increase the focus on two-step cleaning throughout the day and decrease focus on other areas (window cleaning, floor buffing, etc.)
Operating mechanical systems (HVAC) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as possible for each building’s situation to further increase filtration
Limiting nonessential visitors from the school environment at the discretion of building administrators, to include temporarily not allowing lunchtime visitors
Limiting indoor mass gatherings during the school day at the discretion of building administrators
Providing masks in school buildings and on transportation for those who request one
Increasing hand sanitizing stations in schools and on transportation
COVID-19 Exposure Response Plan
When a CMCSS student or CMCSS employee tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to notify either the school nurse (if they are a student) or their supervisor (if they are an employee). The medical office that performed the test will notify the Montgomery County Health Department for contact tracing.
CMCSS will return to normal capacity for after-school events, meetings, and athletics for the 2021-2022 school year. CMCSS will continue following TSSAA’s guidelines for athletics. The district will keep families informed as guidelines are updated throughout the year.
Face masks are strongly encouraged for students, employees, and visitors inside buildings and on transportation. Families are encouraged to use their judgment on sending their student(s) to school with a mask and make whatever decision will be best for the health of their child(ren) or other members of their household. For more information from the CDC on the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, click here.
Employees will be expected to self-screen before entering school premises.
Self-screening protocols for students and visitors will continue. Families are strongly encouraged to engage in self-screening at home prior to each school day. Click here for updated guidance from the CDC regarding screening K-12 students for symptoms of COVID-19.
Have you had any of the below symptoms as a new-onset in the past 72 hours? (This does not include chronic conditions)
fever of 100 degrees or greater
new onset of a cough
new onset of shortness of breath
new onset of sore throat
new onset of body aches
new onset of headache
new onset of loss of taste or smell
nausea or vomiting
congestion or runny nose
If “yes”, please consult your personal health care provider before returning to any CMCSS locations. Students, employees, and visitors who are sick must follow the CMCSS Flowchart.
Water fountains will be closed during the 2021-2022 school year. Water filling stations will be open where available. Students should bring their own water bottles.
Effective June 1, 2021; Updated Aug. 20, 2021. Subject to change based on updated guidance and local, state, or national recommendations or mandates.