In the March 6 issue of The Phillipian, this Editorial Board asked, “Why does it take a tragedy to unite a school?” We were not referring to Phillips Academy then, but now this question has new meaning. Head of School Barbara Chase echoed this statement in her speech today: “Sometimes it takes adversity to bring a community together.” A threatening message has been scrawled on a construction site in the heart of our campus. At the time this paper goes to press on Thursday (two and half hours past our press deadline), we have known this information for only a few hours, but, in this time, the school has done a great deal to make us feel safe and informed. The Phillipian has immense respect for Head of School Barbara Chase’s handling of the situation that has materialized on campus. She and the administration have responded to the graffiti with candor and composure, promptly contacting the student body and our parents and bringing in a first-rate security firm. On Thursday, the school’s emergency notification system worked exactly as the school intended. At approximately 2:30 p.m. each student received an email, text message and voicemail. In an hour and fifteen minutes, the entire school assembled in the Chapel. Chase said, “We want to reiterate to you… that the police do not believe that [the graffiti] is a credible threat. We are informing you because we believe you deserve to have the information, because we want you to know it from us and we want you to have accurate information. We want you to know we’re going to keep you safe.” This was the exact right message to send. The school is making a conscious effort to be transparent, to promptly and fully inform students of accurate information, directly from the administration. We commend the effort. There are those who will say that the school should have told us as soon as they had any information and those who think that informing us at this point only caused unnecessary fear and panic. The power of information cannot be understated, and the school waited until it had the facts straight to responsibly inform us of events without causing unnecessary alarm. At one point in her speech, Chase broke with her formal account of events and information. “We all love you very much,” she said. The atmosphere up to this point had been largely silent and tense – students were uncertain how to feel, how to respond. With that comment, the audience melted into whispers, talking, nervous laughter and applause. To the author of the writing on the wall, whose intent was undoubtedly to inspire fear, know that this school is not divided. We know that we have the support of our faculty, peers and our Head of School.