Seattle Public Schools

Responding to tragedy in our community

Summary: Letter to community from Superintendent Jones on January 24, 2024.

Dear SPS families and staff,

The Seattle Public Schools family was devastated by the news of the death of one of our students from a gunshot wound yesterday. This tragic event happened near Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School.

Like many of you, I am deeply saddened by the loss of this young member of our community.

Our central office and school teams are working tirelessly to offer support to the grieving family and the affected school communities. We are collaborating with city officials to coordinate and share resources.

Multiple agencies are joining forces to react and respond to this tragedy. Although there is no known threat to our schools due to this event, the Seattle Police Department will have additional patrols around the Chief Sealth and Denny campuses.

The Seattle School Board and I remain committed to creating welcoming and safe neighborhoods for our students and staff.

But to make a real difference, larger changes are needed.

Our young people deserve the opportunity to focus on growing and thriving without violence. The availability of firearms only adds to worries.

It’s time for us, as a community, to address this issue together. We need to challenge ourselves to work collectively.

Let’s start with each of us taking a more active role in creating safety in our communities. Be a vigilant neighbor, encourage open communication, or contribute to initiatives that make our shared spaces secure for everyone.

Please remember, you can use the SPS Safe Schools Hotline 206-252-0510 to report any threats to SPS schools. This phone number is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We want our students to be free to take on academic challenges in the classroom, rather than facing threats on our city streets. Together, let’s build a safer and more resilient community.


Dr. Brent Jones
Seattle Public Schools

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