Safety of Our Schools

Dear community member, 

Today I share in a deep sense of relief that our school community is safe following yesterday’s false report of a threat at Santa Cruz High School. The level of coordination and speed of response from the Santa Cruz Police Department and other first responders was remarkable and deserves our gratitude and recognition. So does the poise of Santa Cruz High’s students, parents and staff, as well as Santa Cruz City Schools leadership, as this uncertain situation developed.

Fortunately, there was no safety threat, and no injury to any member of our school community. Our relief, however, is paired with concern for any ongoing impacts to students’ sense of safety, both at Santa Cruz High and across our school community. We encourage parents to discuss these concerns with their children who were impacted by yesterday’s events in an age-appropriate manner. Counselors are onsite at Santa Cruz High, and our Schools Integrated Behavioral Health Initiative maintains a list of local resources that includes information on counseling services and contacts for every district.

This chilling incident highlights the importance of close collaboration between our emergency services and schools. I’ve written several times in this newsletter, and elsewhere, about several of these efforts and the high level of prioritization they are given across our county, from scenario-based trainings over the summer at Scotts Valley High School, to our ongoing Incident Command Academy hosted at the COE to our Safe Schools Consortia, involving local fire and law enforcement agencies, district and COE representatives, and others. 

We are fortunate to have this level of alignment and collaboration, and could not be more thankful for the many hands in our community that contribute to this work.

Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools