Dear Benicia Community and Staff,
With great sadness, I write this communication regarding the tragic school shooting that occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde Texas yesterday. As I process my own thoughts and feelings regarding this unspeakable tragedy, I sincerely ask that we all send our deepest, heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all the victims and families of this terrible event.
Our nation has experienced several traumatizing and tragic events of late. These tragedies can result in a sense of fear, confusion, and uneasiness for adults and students. It is important that we continue to come together as a community to support one another in our collective efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in Benicia.
Please know that school sites have support services available to students which include:
- Mental Health Clinicians
- Wellness Centers
Caresolace has highly specialized care companions that match students, staff, and families in need with local service providers. These services are seamlessly integrated with various institutions and support models.
Solano County Office of Education and Mental Health department offers the following support and resources. Please click here for additional support and resources.
Counselors and mental health staff will be available at sites today to support any student or staff in need. Please contact your child’s teacher or site administrator if your child is in need of support.
For staff, we also have a free ‘Employee Assistance Program’ available through SISC and details are on our website.
The following links are resources of support:
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Mass Violence Resources
- NASP: Talking to Kids about Violence
- Child Mind Institute: Helping Children Cope
- Coping in the Aftermath of a Shooting
Here are some reminders about ways to support your child at home:
- Limit TV/news exposure
- Be mindful about over-communicating or having in-depth conversations regarding situations such as these in front of young children
- Honor all feelings
- Continue with routines as much as possible
BUSD strives to ensure the safety of all our students and staff. The District has a Board-approved emergency operations plan, and each school site has a Board-approved comprehensive school safety plan that is reviewed and updated yearly and shared with staff. These plans outline safety protocols that address a range of emergency situations, including specific courses of action that can be taken in the event of a violent intruder or active shooter. Each year, administrators and staff review and practice these protocols with students in age-appropriate ways.
In our continued effort to keep students safe, the District has secured campus perimeters and required all guests arriving on our campuses to enter through locked/monitored entrances. Once on campus, all parents, guardians, and visitors are required to check-in at the main office whenever requesting to enter a building.
Thank you for sending your thoughts and prayers to the victims who suffered so profoundly yesterday, and for banning together, arm in arm, to keep our community safe.
Charles F. Young, Ed.D.