December 18, 2018
Student safety is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts and this email is meant to reassure parents and staff that SLVHS, SLVMS, SLVE, BCE, and the SLV Charter School are safe environments. SLVUSD appears to be the subject of speculation on Facebook and other social media platforms regarding school safety. Naturally, all of us have a heightened awareness of school security and student safety; however, please keep in mind that as a school, we are dealing with students and families and there are many factors involved.
When there is a school “threat” incident involving a student, the school district is bound to strict confidentiality requirements, which prevent the disclosure of private disciplinary action related to a specific student. If there is an incident at school, you may not be immediately made aware of the situation due to the ongoing nature of police and school investigations; however, if there is a threat that may place your children in danger, you will immediately be informed by the school. Please be aware that often information on Facebook is inaccurate, and it incites fear and anxiety in the community and students. Accurate information will be posted on the SLVUSD District Webpage and District Facebook page.
Currently, there is a Santa Cruz County Safe School Consortium that includes school superintendents, school administrators, law enforcement, and fire fighters. The Safe School Consortium developed “Threat Assessment” procedures that are followed in situations involving threats or violence against school campuses. The “Threat Assessment” protocol is activated during every incident that presents a threat to school safety.
As a school staff we work in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department in all areas of school safety. Deputy Sheriff Kris Koenig is assigned to SLVUSD and is on the SLVHS campus throughout the school year. Deputy Koenig is in continual contact with all school administration. Law enforcement advises the school administration and assists throughout any investigation process. The Sheriff’s Department also conducts a thorough investigation that may involve home visits, background checks, and questioning the suspect or witnesses.
All threats to our schools are perceived to be serious. When a threatening incident occurs, and a student is involved, the school will take disciplinary action. The student will be removed from school immediately and a thorough investigation conducted. After the investigation process is complete, the district administration determines if the information gathered warrants an expulsion from school. The requirements related to student expulsions and student discipline are determined by California Education Code.
The SLVUSD staff is committed to keeping students and faculty safe. We take the issue of school safety to be a priority. This requires that all students, parents and staff remain committed to the effort to keep our schools safe for everyone. Please report any information that may be of concern to the school. Our children are our greatest treasure and together we can keep them safe. We will provide information, when and if it is appropriate; however, please understand that we are dealing with children and are bound to strict confidentiality requirements. Thank you for understanding in this matter and your care and concern for our students.