School Safety at Fairfield Prep
Dear Fairfield Prep Community,
We return from break rested, yet still carrying heavy hearts after the tragedy in Parkland, FL. We in Connecticut feel a particularly deep emotional connection with our brothers and sisters of that area as they grieve their losses. Some of you may have questions about how we at Fairfield Prep care for the health and safety of our students.
Fairfield Prep has unique advantages as a division of Fairfield University, especially given our location and outstanding relationship with the Department of Public Safety (DPS). These highly trained campus police officers are not only armed and EMT qualified, but they are very present, responsive, and experienced in dealing with students. Please see their website for more information.
Additionally, Prep's Crisis Team regularly meets to debrief situations and to work through case studies to improve our institutional response to various scenarios. DPS effectively serves this team as security consultants, helping us continually update our security protocols and training. An additional resource to us is Mr. Kevin Ahern, our Assistant Director of Student Discipline, who brings tremendous experience as a retired Shelton police officer. Scenario planning, campus drills, and debriefs are vital to our learning and improvement.
I would also highlight Prep's excellent relations with local law enforcement and public safety. We are happy to assist them in their training, such as the mass casualty drill conducted by Fairfield Police last summer in Prep's hallways. Opening our doors to training events helps these professionals familiarize themselves with our campus, improve response times, and facilitate communication. We are grateful for their commitment to the safety of our community.
As many of you know, I served as a Marine Officer before entering the Jesuits. Therefore, security and training are deeply ingrained practices for me. At the same time, the most important lesson I learned from the Marine Corps is that "Esprit de corps" is stronger than any weapon.
What we share in Jesuit schools is even more powerful. We speak about being men and women for others, about the Prep Brotherhood, and about Cura Personalis. These values must be practiced every day and are the true strength of our Prep community. Our vision statement lays out a big goal:
Fairfield College Preparatory School strives to be a reflective community of faith,
in which students revere their relationship with God and with one another.
This is the Greatest Commandment that Jesus preached - to love God and to love our neighbor. I encourage every one of us to be especially caring of one another throughout the year. Feel free to reach out to a teacher, campus minister, or guidance counselor to talk more.
Blessings to you and your family,
Rev. Thomas M. Simisky, S.J.