Several school districts around the Greater Los Angeles area are releasing statements in the wake of a school shooting in Connecticut that left 27 dead.
By Sara Fay, Eagle Rock, CA Patch http://bit.ly/UvyB3G
December 14, 2012 :: Representatives from school districts in Greater Los Angeles are reacting to the news of a deadly elementary school shooting in Connecticut Friday morning, and assuring concerned parents there are no credible threats against local schools.
More than 200 police officers secure LAUSD campuses across the city on a daily basis, said superintendent John Deasy. Law enforcement will have "extra patrol and high visibility" at schools Friday, the statement said.
The statement is reproduced in full at the bottom of this article. Friday is the last day of school before LAUSD's winter recess. Classes resume Jan. 7.
Brian McDonald, chief academic officer at Pasadena Unified School District, offered counseling services to students and assured parents the schools in the district were not threatened Friday. [Sign up for PUSD alerts by texting 'PUSD' to 888777.]
“PUSD recognizes the tremendous trust that parents place in us when they send their children to school each day," McDonald said. "We take this responsibility very seriously. I want to reassure students and parents that our schools are safe.”
Tom Torlakson, California state superintendent of public instruction, called the shooting "a terrible senseless tragedy."
“This morning’s shooting in Connecticut is a terrible, senseless tragedy," Torlakson said. "Our grief is made all the deeper when we think of the innocence of the lives lost and the valiant efforts of teachers and school leaders to protect them. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the entire school community.”
Emergency Alert Systems in L.A. County
Every school in L.A. County, public and private, is required to have an emergency plan, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Law enforcement agencies in L.A. County have an emergency notification system called ALERT LA COUNTY. To register your phone number for alerts, click here.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has several other methods of alerting the public to emergencies:
- Email and text alerts through Nixle. Click here to register for alerts from the Los Angeles County Sheriff and your local sheriff station. You can also text your zip code to 888777 to receive text alerts only.
- Facebook page of the LASD newsroom. Like the page to receive updates in your newsfeed.
- The LASD Newsroom Twitter account is @LASD_News. Each LASD patrol station has their own Twitter handle. Find them by searching through accounts that follow @LASD_News.
School District Officials React
- Superintendent of ABC (Artesia, Bloomfield and Carmenita) Unified School District in Cerritos called the Connecticut shooting a "horrendous incident." Click here to read more from Cerritos-Artesia Patch.
- Culver City Unified School District officials expressed sympathy to the victims of the Connecticut shooting and increased police presence at its schools.
- “We send our thoughts and prayers to all of the innocent people affected by this senseless act,” said Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of schools for the Long Beach Unified School District.
Here is the full statement from LAUSD:
On behalf of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) we are deeply saddened by today’s horrifying event this morning at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman want to assure all parents and members of our school community that the LAUSD’s number one priority is the safety of our students and staff. Every campus within the LAUSD has a school safety plan in place. These plans include responding to incidents where students and staff may be in danger of injury.
On a daily basis, the Los Angeles School Police department deploys over 200 police officers throughout the District on campus and safe passages patrol. In addition, we collaborate with public safety and mental health agencies to ensure planning, preparation, response and mitigation to all incidents that may affect student safety.
Although there is no information of any credible threats to the LAUSD students and staff, the LA School Police, the Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agency partners are committed to providing extra patrol and high visibility presence around our schools today to reduce any fears or anxiety related to today’s incident.
Every school in the LAUSD has a crisis team to assist students and staff in dealing with the aftermath of critical incidents. If you feel your child might be in need of additional support please notify your school’s administrator and referrals can be made to the school’s support services staff or the appropriate School Mental Health Clinic.