Dear CCUSD Community,
On behalf of the CCUSD Board of Trustees, I am writing today to address concerns from the community around school safety and security, particularly as it relates to student fights at CCMS and CCHS. We apologize to our families who are experiencing this harm and we are being intentional about creating systems that will interrupt it immediately.
Many issues were raised by the community during the February 14th Board meeting. We heard our families insist on better and more transparent communication in response to their students’ experiences. We are sharing these comments in an effort to begin to deliver on that request:
While student fights and security concerns that have recently taken place at CCMS and CCHS were not on the February 14th agenda, and therefore the Board was unable to deliberate during the meeting on those specific public comments, we are unequivocally committed to listening with open ears and hearts to concerns voiced by many community members.
The Board wants to emphasize that we heard you, we share and validate your concerns, and we take the safety of our students extremely seriously. The Board agreed to extend our comment period for “items not on the agenda,” beyond the bylaw prescribed 20 minutes, to ensure that we would be able to do this.
With respect to the fights taking place at CCMS and CCHS, please note the following measures the district is taking to address them:
Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Dr. Jennifer Smith stated the following during the board meeting:
“On Friday, February 10th, the Identify, Reduce, Prevent and Eliminate Task Force met with high school students who were recently involved in fights. Each of the students were able to articulately share their stories, from their perspectives as victims or active participants. We encouraged the students to speak freely; however, we did have some specific questions around a) the need for counseling or mental health support, b) a more restrictive cell phone policy, and c) what we could do to make them feel safe on campus.
“Some common themes that emerged:
• Lack of qualified, responsive or engaged security personnel
• Small, specific group of students want to instigate fights
• Students are bored
• Posting videos of fights on Social Media”
As we work diligently to improve and monitor campus safety, here are the active steps the site leaders are taking to support our schools.
• Adding staff to supervise students before school, during passing periods, lunches, and after school
• Providing additional support and supervision from district administrators
• Informing students, families, staff and the community about access to WeTip for confidential,
anonymous reporting of crimes
• Tagging inappropriate social media posts
• Planning Town Halls with School Site Leaders
• Updating the agreement with security personnel to provide services for our students and staff that reflect the district’s values.
The Board is working closely with Superintendent Tran to ensure an expedited response to these safety concerns. The number of fights has significantly diminished since these interventions were implemented.
In closing, please know that our students’ safety is our top priority. We thank the community for your input, and for holding us all accountable for finding the best solutions. The Board is committed to district communication that is more responsive and transparent to the community now and in the future. As we traverse this difficult time, the Board will continue to abide by our District Mission and Core Beliefs, the first of which is “Each person deserves to be safe.”
Paula Amezola, President, CCUSD Board of Trustees
Dr. Kelly Kent, Vice President, CCUSD Board of Trustees
Triston Ezidore, Clerk, CCUSD Board of Trustees
Stephanie Loredo, Parliamentarian, CCUSD Board of Trustees
Brian Guerrero, Member, CCUSD Board of Trustees