Belfast-area school officials are planning a public forum about school safety following a mass shooting Feb. 14 at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people.

In an open letter to students, parents, school staff and concerned citizens of the district, RSU 71 board chairwoman Caitlin Hills and vice chairwoman Allison Goscinski said the recent school shooting was a reminder of the board's obligation to keep its own schools, students and staff safe.

"Unfortunately, school shootings have begun to be seen as the 'new normal,'" Hills and Goscinski wrote. "We do not accept this and we are committed to ensuring that our district schools are safe. We have heard your concerns, your heartbreak, and your fears."

At the board's next regular meeting, Monday, Feb. 26, at 5:30 p.m. at Troy Howard Middle School, members will discuss school safety and the possibility of convening a community forum "to discuss how to move forward."  The meeting is open to the public, and there will be a period for public comment.