Superintendent, School Board Members Speak Out on Lunar New Year Massacre

In response to yet another massacre, both Culver City Unified Superintendent Quoc Tran and School Board members Triston Ezidore and Stephanie Loredo have sent formal statements to CulverCityCrossroads. 

From Superintendent Tran, “Our community is in shock and grief after a mass shooting Saturday night left 10 people dead and at least 10 more injured in Monterey Park. The shooting took place at a Lunar New Year festival where many families gathered to enjoy the holiday festivities; and what should have been a time of celebration has become one of mourning. Our hearts and thoughts are with the families and communities impacted by this horrific event.

In our district, we are, once again, confronted with how to deal with another senseless act of gun violence and how to find the best ways to communicate with our children about what this all means.

As educators and families, we must redouble our efforts to create a more inclusive and tolerant world on behalf of our children and remember that how we react to horrific events like yesterday’s shooting will guide their reactions. Though much is still unknown about the motivations of the shooting, it is clear that gun violence of any kind is abhorrent and that speculation about the motives in yesterday’s shooting has already unleashed more Asian hate posts on social media.

There’s no one way to address tragedies like this with children, and how parents approach it depends both on the child’s age and temperament. The American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend avoiding the topic with children until they reach a certain age — around 8, but again, it depends on the child.

Events like this evoke many emotions—sadness, grief, helplessness, anxiety, and anger. Children who are struggling with their thoughts and feelings about the stories and images of the shooting may turn to trusted adults for help and guidance. Thank you to Los Angeles County Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo and her team at LACOE, which has put together the following resources to provide educators and parents support in talking to students about gun violence, their safety and their feelings. There are also resources to support adults who are experiencing emotional distress.”

From Board Members Triston Ezidore and Stephanie Loredo

“Last night, an act of gun violence occurred in Monterey Park, California when 10 people were killed in a mass shooting during a Lunar New Year celebration. The assailant is still at large and the investigation is ongoing. We acknowledge that the tragic loss and interruption of so many lives due to the ongoing gun violence in the U.S. may be affecting our Culver City community in different ways. 

It is deeply disturbing that a violent incident during an Asian American cultural celebration has happened so close to home. While we still do not yet know the motivations of the shooter, Culver City has zero tolerance for violence and hate. As the two sitting elected officials in Culver City of Asian descent, we denounce the rise in violent acts that strike fear into the hearts of our communities, as well as the forces which have facilitated that rise, and urge fellow leaders to counter these crimes by bringing communities together. In April 2021, CCUSD passed a resolution affirming the district’s commitment to the well-being and safety of Asian Americans, denouncing Anti-Asian hate and xenophobia. Our community should feel they can safely gather to celebrate cultural traditions without the fear of gun violence. We are not going to let this violence stop us from sharing our culture. We hope the victims’ families and their community find safety, love, and justice for what has happened. 

As details about last night unfold, we will continue to consider the ways we can serve our community through resources and events, including connecting through school site organizations and affinity groups. Many of us will be reflecting on what we can do to prevent future violence. We encourage you to conduct your own research and support movements and organizations that aim to end gun violence and empower Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders and the communities in which they live like Women Against Gun Violence, Stop AAPI Hate, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice SoCal.

When tragedies occur, many of us try to continue with our daily lives; we understand it can be difficult to balance work or school and your emotions. Our school district supports our community and we are ready to provide the help that people need to cope with this tragedy. For our students and staff at CCUSD, please talk to a counselor, peer, colleague, or friend if this occurrence is affecting you. For more information on how to speak to your children about traumatic events: How to Talk With Your Kids About Traumatic Events by Dr. Kevin Nadal, Psychology Today, July 2022. “

Included in the Superintendent’s correspondence is a lengthy list of resources for Schools and Families

In addition to these resources, please check with your local site administrators who may have additional pertinent information regarding your specific school site.

The state of California also offers a free “warmline” at (888) 368-4090. Currently open during business hours, this is a place to talk confidentially with a trained counselor.

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