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Letter from Mayor Lee and Superintendent Carranza

December 14, 2012
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Dear SFUSD Community,

We are all grieving with those affected by the needless and horrifying violence this morning at an elementary school in Connecticut. Our thoughts, prayers and deep sympathy go out to the families of all of the victims.

Here in San Francisco we are working together to make sure that our students, families and school staff are safe and that they are aware of resources to support them as they get news of this tragic event.

Schools are on alert to be aware of the emotional needs of students. Death can be difficult for children to understand, especially under such tragic circumstances. All of us may be feeling a variety of emotions including shock, sadness, or fear. What is most important is that we care for and support one another.

Our City and District work closely together to immediately respond to schools and provide support needed in the event of a school crisis. All schools have a safety plan that is updated annually and schools have been trained in how to implement these plans at their sites.

Resources

Families who would like support are encouraged to reach out to resources available at school sites and in the City.

At school students can ask their teacher or principal and speak with support service staff at the school who have been trained in helping students cope with trauma and crisis.

If families should need support outside of school, San Francisco has Family Resource Centers, Community Behavioral Health Clinics, Beacon Centers, and other agencies who can offer support in all neighborhoods throughout the city. To learn about and access the family support services in your neighborhood, call 311 for more information.

Below are some tips from a school social worker regarding ways to process this event with your child:

  • Keep the family routines as much as possible
  • Listen to your children; give children permission to discuss the subject,
  • Keep answers simple and brief,
  • Share your own feelings with them,
  • Provide reassurance that you and their teachers and principal are doing everything you can to keep them safe.

Sincerely,

Mayor Ed Lee and SFUSD Superintendent Richard A. Carranza