Date: January 22, 2016
To: TUSD Community
In the aftermath of senseless mayhem recently experienced by victims from around the world and country, it is important to note that our District recognizes such acts of violence are never to be dismissed nor should their impact be allowed to subside. Traumatic events in schools, places of worship and public gatherings create a climate of fear and concern for all of us. This is especially true in the minds of children, adolescents, and adults whom become confused and frightened and feel in danger or worry that friends or loved ones are at risk.
School Safety and the health and well-being of our students have been and will continue to be of our District’s highest priority. We continue to research and seek information from actions taken during all tragic events in schools and elsewhere in order to incorporate those which are the best fit for our district culture and philosophy. TUSD takes pride in its traditional commitment of providing a safe, welcoming atmosphere for our school community—one dependent on consistent, ongoing vigilance by staff and administration. While our schools are not impenetrable fortresses, we have taken all possible precautions to secure buildings, embed safety measures, and train staff to proactively manage challenging situations in a proactive manner.
Every one of our TK-12 campuses actively plan, prepare and drill for situations that are perceived as dangerous or threatening. Comprehensive emergency plans for each site are evaluated annually, upgraded periodically and approved by the TUSD Board of Trustees. We continue to consult with our local law enforcement officials and greatly appreciate their partnership. TUSD employs many security measures to provide safe, secure campuses. Two School Resource Officers, assigned to our comprehensive High Schools, are sworn Turlock Police Officers available as first responders to support administrators’ efforts in resolving serious violations of Education and Penal Codes on our fifteen campuses. Campus supervisors and site administrators consistently conduct thorough, responsible investigations with involved students and witnesses to help resolve situations of misconduct and dangerous behavior. Additionally, our district has many programs in place that guide staff in handling medical emergencies, campus disturbances, and incidents of bullying or student misconduct.
Students, parents, or staff may report bullying to staff or administration at their school of attendance; the report may be made anonymously or in strict confidence. Site administration shall investigate and apply appropriate interventions and consequences which may include re-teaching behavior expectations, PBIS strategies, counseling, parent conferences, detention, work detail, and/or suspension. The goal in every incident is to positively change behavior. Exclusion from school, such as suspension, is a consequence of last resort. The steps as outlined above, coupled with site and district staff’s heightened awareness of our school community, are having a positive impact as evidenced by the decline in student misconduct, bullying, and harassment across the district. Rest assured that all reports of aggressive behavior or bullying are taken very seriously and investigated as high priorities. TUSD has partnered with parents, staff and local law enforcement to provide a safe learning environment for all of its 14,000 students and 2000+ employees. We will continue to do everything necessary to ensure that this safe environment continues unabated.
In the event of any emergency, information will be publicized through various outlets including the district website at www.turlock.k12.ca.us, the TUSD Facebook Page and school messenger. You can also read about anti-bullying and safe schools procedures by accessing these very same venues.
Dana Salles Trevethan
Stop, Walk, Talk - Video by Office of Student Services
Stop, Walk, Talk - Video by Walnut Elementary Education Center