Communication officials from the EPISD and Ector County ISD shared their thoughts and experiences in collaborating in response to the mass shootings that plagued their communities just six months ago.
EPISD Chief Communications Officer Melissa Martinez and Ector County ISD Communications Officer Mike Adkins presented a session titled “West Texas Strong: How El Paso and Odessa Collaborated to Cope With Tragedy” at this year’s Texas School Public Relations Association conference in Austin.
The presentation outlined best practices in partnerships to deal with emergency situations, especially when it comes to public messaging and notifications.
El Paso was attacked on Aug. 3 when a shooter opened fire at a busy Walmart killing 22 people. The Midland-Odessa area was the victim of a mass shooting on Aug. 31 that took the lives of eight people.
The events shocked the nation and tested the area’s emergency response mechanisms – including those of the school districts.
“This is a situation you never want to be in,” said Martinez. “But when tragedy strikes, it is important to collaborate and work together with your colleagues so that our respective communities – our students and parents – get the information they need to stay safe and feel supported.”