Dear parents and guardians of Benicia Unified School District students,

As your Superintendent, I am writing to share with you some steps we are taking as a District in response and reflection from the incidents that transpired earlier this month.  Your feedback and support throughout these events has been greatly appreciated.

Cyber Safety Community Presentation

We believe that helping students make safe and smart choices, especially in the area of technology use is a partnership and journey we need to embark on together. In light of recent the events, both of which stemmed from internet comments, we believe it is timely to offer a workshop we are calling, “Knowing Your Internet Child.” We are partnering with Benicia Police Department to offer this workshop that will outline specific strategies we can all use to help children make safe and smart choices in this Digital Age. The workshop will be free and open to the public. Please look for a date and time coming soon.  Please join us for this important and timely discussion.

Halloween Costumes & Safety

As a proactive response to the clown incident that has happened here and throughout the nation, the District has outlined some consistent expectations around Halloween costumes and dress. This year, we will follow what many neighboring schools and organizations are implementing. We are not allowing clown costumes be worn to school.  In addition, we are setting the expectation for all schools that students faces be visible at all times, meaning no full face paint/masks or hoods may be worn to school.  Being able to immediately and easily identify students is necessary in order to ensure the safety of all. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Please look for further communications from your site principals about other parameters for dressing up.

Potential Disciplinary Responses

Finally, I want to share the potential consequences in District policy surrounding threats to schools. I share this information so you can work with your children on making safe choices. Making a threat toward school has both District and legal implications that may include recommendations for expulsion from school. Threats against schools, as stated in Education Code 48900.7,  which can have a grave result are considered a terroristic threat. I am hopeful that when we work together we can help students stay informed, make appropriate choices and get help when they are distressed.

I am looking forward to seeing you at our Cyber Safety Community Presentation.

Sincerely,

Charles Young

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