Solidarity and Support

Dear community member,

On behalf of Santa Cruz County’s school community, I want to extend our deepest sympathies and support to our neighbors in Half Moon Bay, as well as the Monterey Park community in Los Angeles County.

San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee, a Half Moon Bay resident, released a powerful message this week reflecting on the tragedy in her community. I encourage you to read it in full, and, if able, to consider supporting the following organizations mobilizing in support of those impacted:

  • Coastside Hope: Collecting donations to support the farm families that were directly impacted

  • ALAS: Collecting donations to support those in the community who were directly impacted

These acts of violence and hate are intolerable, and far too common. The same day as the attack in Half Moon Bay, myself and administrators from the Santa Cruz County districts and charter schools reviewed alarming data showing the continuing uptrend in mass shootings as part of a presentation given in our Incident Command Systems Academy. As I’ve shared previously, we convened this academy as one of many proactive steps we are taking to ensure our schools are safe for all students and families, regardless of race, background, or identity. Our schools are developing and strengthening protocols, tactics and systems in preparation for any range of emergency scenarios. I am grateful to the academy’s facilitators, former Santa Cruz Police Deputy Chief Dan Flippo and former COE Deputy Superintendent Bryan Wall for the continued training and support they have provided us.

We stand in solidarity with our AAPI and farmworker friends and neighbors, fully committed to taking action to address hate and violence in all forms. The COE’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative hosts compiled educational and advocacy resources to share data and support both personal learning and teachers who are seeking to broach these complex topics in their classroom. If you have any feedback or are aware of resources we should add, please let us know.

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