September 2021 News
October Newsletter 2021
September 29th, 2021
Social Media and School Safety Concerns
Good evening, CMCSS families,
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 the Student 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:
- CMCSS Internet Safety Site: https://sites.google.com/cmcss.net/cmcss-internet-safety/home
- CMCSS Homeland Security Internet Safety Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkwj8QM304U
- CMCSS Interview with Homeland Security Special Agent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycu2q3HcceM
- Netsmartz: https://www.missingkids.org/netsmartz/home
- Thorn Foundation: https://parents.thorn.org
- Child Rescue Coalition: https://childrescuecoalition.org/education/
- Digital Monitoring Software article from Child Rescue Coalition: https://childrescuecoalition.org/educations/keeping-kids-safe-online-theres-an-app-for-that-or-5/
September 21st, 2021
Nationwide Food and Supply Shortages Impact Cafeteria Menus
The CMCSS Child Nutrition Department is being impacted by nationwide food and supply shortages. These shortages are creating unavoidable, last-minute menu changes and modifications to the serving trays and utensils. Menu selections may be further limited or altered. However, please know that students will continue to receive a free breakfast and a free lunch this school year. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these shortages.
Contact your student’s cafeteria manager with any questions regarding the school menu. For more information about Food Services, visit the Child Nutrition employee page.
Update September 29, 2021
During the September 28 CMCSS School Board meeting, Dr. Angela Huff, Interim Director of Schools addressed the board with information concerning the current supply shortage situation. In her remarks, Dr. Huff mentioned the following:
- Nationwide, high-volume shortages and supply chain disruptions are creating unavoidable, last-minute menu changes and modifications to serving trays and utensils. However, please note that complete, USDA-approved meals are still being served every day at no charge to students.
- With the shortages, non-conventional meal tray replacements are being implemented such as bagging all items without a tray. Menu selections may be unconventional, such as sides not matching traditionally with entrees or hamburger/hotdog buns being replaced with flatbreads, wraps, or crackers.
- Although the Child Nutrition Department has contracts with vendors, they are continuously exploring alternative suppliers and options. A major issue is that many vendors are not taking on new high-volume customers as they work to supply their current customers. For some, sourcing can be as simple as going to Kroger if Publix is out something they need. The District serves over 150,000 meals a week, so sourcing locally is generally not a viable option.
- The Child Nutrition Department will continue navigating the supply chain disruptions and shortages that have been making national headlines to ensure our students continue to be served USDA-approved meals each school day.
- As a reminder, CMCSS is not the agency which supplies P-EBT cards. The Tennessee Department of Human Services oversees the pandemic food benefits program.
September 19th, 2021
Face Mask Requirement
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
September 1st, 2021