As the Dunkirk City School District gets ready for the return of students for a new school year, the district recruited a nationally recognized school violence expert to address faculty and staff on Wednesday during the opening days of professional development as part of its “Whatever It Takes” initiative. Dom Shomette’s “Safe & Loved” presentation highlighted the benefits of a holistic approach to school safety and directly aligned with the district’s goal to improve the perception of inclusivity and safety within the school community.
Superintendent Mike Mansfield says, “Our district is committed to social-emotional learning, and our goals are reflective of that. We are ready to do whatever it takes to improve outcomes for our students. It is imperative that Dunkirk students, staff, families, and community members feel safe and welcome in our schools.”
Shomette — a former police officer and school resource officer — discussed the power of engagement, compassion, and love in the effort to improve school safety. He also spoke on the importance of sending a strong message of care and concern to students and parents, as well as encouraging greater communication. He told district employees, “If you improve the culture, you improve safety. Safety is not a stand alone. We have to blend violence prevention into everything we do.”
Shomette also served as a therapeutic foster parent, violence prevention expert for the state of Virginia, and served 12 years in the Marine Corps.
Photo by the Dunkirk City School District