Response to Texas Elementary School Shooting
Dear Glendale Unified Students, Families, Employees, and Community,
We are devastated to hear of yet another school shooting, this time at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts go out to the students, families, and staff at Robb Elementary. As educators and as parents, it is difficult to comprehend such traumatic events. It can be challenging to know exactly what to say to a child following a national tragedy. Here are three resources that may be helpful to you and your family. These resources will also be shared with our educators.
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Parent Guidelines for helping youth after a shooting
- Common Sense Media: How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime and War
As these tragic shootings seem to be taking place with alarming frequency, it is important for us to work together as a community to ensure our schools are safe. I want to assure parents and families that we are doing everything in our power to protect your children and our employees on our campuses.
Mental Health Support
We are committed to strengthening mental health support and programs to ensure the health and safety of our Glendale Unified community. Our student wellness services department provides direct support, along with services and resources for our students, employees, and families. Learn more at gusd.net/MentalHealth.
If You See Something, Say Something
The solution to school safety extends beyond the walls of our schools and requires a relentless commitment and effort from everyone in our community. If you “See Something, Say Something.” Report any suspicious activity to your school or our district staff. You can call your school directly, call the district’s phone tip line at (323) 999-6062, or download the Glendale Unified app and submit an anonymous tip using the app tip line, which is monitored by our staff seven days a week.
School Safety Plans
Our schools have emergency plans in place for a wide range of situations, from natural disasters to bomb threats, to active shooter situations. We conduct emergency drills multiple times throughout the year and constantly review and revise our emergency plans with assistance from law enforcement. Our Facilities and Support Operations staff conduct safety walk-throughs of every Glendale Unified campus to identify any areas for improvement. All district schools are equipped with security gates and cameras, and visitors must sign in and out at every school site. We encourage all families to keep your emergency contact information up to date so we know we can contact you in an emergency.
Protecting Our Community from Gun Violence
Our Board of Education has taken proactive measures over the years to protect our students, families, employees, and community from acts of gun violence. In 2019, the Board unanimously adopted a resolution Protecting Our Children from Preventable Gun Violence. Following this resolution, Glendale Unified Safe School Plans and Parent/Student Handbooks were updated to include information and resources about every parents’/guardians’ legal duty to safely store their firearms. Additionally, the district added a signature form to our registration packet requiring each parent/ guardian to acknowledge awareness of their safe gun storage responsibilities. This June, the Board of Education will vote to adopt a second resolution proclaiming June 3 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our campuses are safe spaces where every child can learn and thrive. Thank you for being a constant partner in protecting the safety of our students, employees, families, and community.
Vivian Ekchian, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools