Last week our hearts were broken when we learned of the passing of McKinney Boyd High School student Raymond Howell Jr. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and the students and staff at McKinney Boyd High School. This tragedy has impacted the students, the faculty and the entire McKinney ISD community. Having spent eight years as the principal at McKinney Boyd High School, I know firsthand how deeply this staff cares about the safety and well being of our students. At this time, our primary focus is to provide counseling and grief support for our students and staff.
It is equally important that I emphasize McKinney ISD’s ongoing commitment to create safe and supportive learning environments for all students. We have defined policies and procedures related to bullying and cyber-bullying in our district, we have an anti-bullying education program in place, we post and advertise bullying/harassment reporting forms, and we encourage students to use our Tip 411 program to anonymously share incidents of bullying or other concerns with administrators and our school resource officers. Our policies and procedures include a process for investigation and intervention in cases of reported bullying. Often a relationship of trust between the student and a respected teacher or staff member is the most effective manner in which to report concerns. However, in order for us to address these issues, it is critical that information regarding potential bullying be shared with staff so that they can take the appropriate steps to address the negative behavior.
Despite all of the District’s efforts, social media presents perhaps one of the greatest challenges regarding monitoring and addressing student behavior. Monitoring social media requires a collaborative effort between students, parents and educators. Our experience and research indicates that social media is most effectively monitored by parents and families, with support from educators. Even when adults are involved, students often have access to information that is more timely or provides a different perspective on a matter. We will continue to work to openly and effectively monitor these lines of communication.
Our hope is that the final police report will provide more conclusive evidence as to the factors contributing to this tragedy. Our focus at this point will be to lean on each other, engage in thoughtful and careful review of the events, and provide support to those in need. The McKinney Boyd High School staff, students, and parents are some of the most caring and loving people I have been fortunate to know, and that has never been more evident than during times like these.
Dr. Rick McDaniel
McKinney ISD Superintendent
For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
McKinney ISD Press Release