Dear community member,
It is unthinkable that I must write to you in the wake of another horrific mass shooting, this time at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with all those impacted by this utterly senseless act of violence.
Providing a secure environment where our children can learn and grow is foundational to everything else we do in our schools. As I have shared previously, all Santa Cruz County schools are committed to working together and with our public safety partners to build safe spaces for our students. We completed an Incident Command Academy involving all school districts this year, adding to the significant training and coordination already undergone. And we are currently hosting a new session of the Incident Command Academy for our community’s private schools and pre-schools.
We must also not allow this tragedy to be used as an opportunity to spread hate or discrimination towards any particular group of people, as we unfortunately have seen in some corners of the media landscape this week. We stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and community members, and we will continue to provide support and resources to ensure their safety and well-being.
Children may have understandable questions about their safety. It is important to reassure our children that they are safe and to discuss these issues in an age-appropriate manner. Below are some resources that may be helpful to assist with these challenging conversations.
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers – NASP
- Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting – APA
- Student & Family Behavioral Health Support – English and Spanish
- Resources to Help Youth Cope after a Mass Shooting – youth.gov
Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools
This message was sent as part of COE Community Update, a weekly newsletter from Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Faris Sabbah. Subscribe at sccoe.link/newsletter.