Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota will resume classes on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at its normally scheduled start time after being closed Monday, Feb. 26, while the Sarasota Police Department investigated a concerning social media post.
In a letter sent to parents on Sunday, Feb. 25, Diocese of Venice Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Dr. Kristy Swol, alerted Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School parents to a Snapchat post and closed the school out of an abundance of caution.
The Sarasota Police Department continues to investigate the social media post but confirmed Monday morning that “there is no reason to believe there is a threat to Cardinal Mooney” at this time.
The safety and security of all students in the Diocese of Venice in Florida is always a top priority, and the Diocese appreciates the Sarasota Police Department’s immediate response to this matter.
Below is a letter from Dr. Swol sent to all Cardinal Mooney families on the evening of Feb. 26 which goes into detail about what students and parents can expect when the school reopens tomorrow (Feb. 27).
February 26, 2018
Dear Cougar Families,
Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School values its students and the commitment by the parents to providing a Catholic education, rooted in the Gospel Values of Jesus Christ. The school treasures this relationship and appreciates you entrusting your children to its care.
As is known, the school was closed today, Monday, February 26, 2018, due to an alleged concern regarding a threat to the community. The Sarasota Police Department investigated the social media post and confirmed Monday morning that “there is no reason to believe there is a threat to Cardinal Mooney.” This is great news for our school and community.
On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the school will be open. For parental peace of mind, the Sarasota Police Department will ensure that an officer is present on the campus during the remainder of the week. Further, Cardinal Mooney will adopt added safety measures beginning tomorrow. These measures include:
- Additional faculty/staff will be present at the main entrances to the school during arrival and dismissal times. The additional staff will be in place to monitor those entering and leaving the school.
- All gates will be locked at the start of the school day, including the main gate through which visitor’s access the School Office.
- A camera/doorbell will be placed at the main gate by Tuesday afternoon, so that anyone wishing access to the school must first announce themselves to the School Office. A staff member will then escort the individual to and from the School Office. Until the completion of the doorbell installation, a staff member will be stationed at the front gate.
The school, as you know, is in the final phases of the Selby Center renovations. These renovations will update the school’s security cameras, gates, fencing, and create a single point of entry for the campus. The anticipated completion of the project is Easter. The contractors have been asked to expedite the remaining construction so as to provide an earlier completion of the new School Office.
As these new safety measures are enacted, your help is requested to limit non-essential traffic at the school. Going forward, please do not bring forgotten homework, lunches, or other items to the school, as the gates will not be opened for these items. If lunches are forgotten, a meal will be provided to the student. Please work with your children to ensure they have the items they need for the day. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
While these past days have been stressful for the entire Cougar community, please know that your prayers, care, and concern are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your dedication to and concern for the community. Mooney is a community who lives by God’s grace and works to ensure the safety and solidarity of all.
May our Heavenly Father bless you during this Lenten Season.
Yours in Christ,
Kristy S. Swol, Ed. D.
Director of Education
Superintendent of Schools