As early reports continue to be communicated, it is clear that another tragedy has struck a school in our nation, this time close to home in Southern California. We are saddened for the loss of lives and injuries that occurred as a result of the shooting this morning at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. As a CCUSD school family, we stand in grief and in anger as we are faced once again with another senseless act of violence. Regardless of where we live, we as a global school community are always shaken when any violent act occurs at our schools.
It is important for us as a school community to continually ensure that we are doing everything within our power to make our campuses safe. Since February, our schools have conducted safety audits with our Security Director and CCPD to make changes and/or enhancements in our practices:
We have increased our security staff so that they are more visible at all sites.
All schools have “Lock-Bloks” on all classroom doors, which allow doors to be quickly and easily locked from the inside.
All elementary campuses are cleared and all gates are locked no later than 9:00 am.
We have limited campus access to the student parking lots and main gates at the high school/middle school.
Increased video monitoring of our campuses.
Training for staff in the areas of mental health services, along with increased counseling services for students.
CCPD has begun community chats at our school sites to discuss safety concerns and/or questions.
Reinforce and continually communicate the importance of “See Something, Say Something.” One tip from someone who sees and reports something out of the ordinary can be the one tip that saves lives. This has been an extremely effective practice that has made an immediate difference in our student’s safety.
When processing this information with your children, consider your child’s age when framing the discussion. Please have an age-appropriate conversation at home with your child(ren) about appropriate reactions to an active shooter situation, both on and off campus. For helpful information on how to talk with your child about this and related tragedies, please click on the following link: www.healthychildren.org.
I also ask everyone to utilize the incredible neighborhood network that we have in our community. Have conversations with your neighbors about how you want to make sure that our schools and communities are safe. If you own a firearm and it is in your home, please make sure that your firearm is locked and stored away from your children, regardless of their age/maturity level. The police department gives away free gun locks if you do not have one.
To that end, I’ve spoken with CCPD Chief Bixby, who has informed me that they have increased presence through bike and vehicle patrols around our schools. I appreciate everyone’s commitment to the safety of our students.
CCUSD Superintendent of Schools