Dear Members of San Mateo County’s Education Community,
On behalf of the San Mateo County Office of Education and the County Board of Education, we express our sincere condolences to the community of Monterey Park, which experienced a tragic mass shooting resulting in the deeply painful loss of ten irreplaceable lives this weekend. An evening of celebration and joy suddenly became an evening of horror for the families who lost precious loved ones and for the countless others traumatized by the event.
That this violence disrupted Lunar New Year celebrations brings additional injury to our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities who have experienced an alarming rise in violent attacks over the past few years. We stand with the residents of Monterey Park and the AAPI community as collectively we mourn yet another senseless tragedy.
As education leaders, we are especially concerned about the impact on students who have been exposed to more unprovoked and shocking violence. Our young people need our support as they process the unfolding details of this event, address their own fears, and try to move forward. As caring adults, we must be fully present to provide all the support and assurance we can muster.
To provide our families and schools with current and accurate information and needed supports, the San Mateo County Office of Education maintains a webpage with social-emotional and mental health resources to help students and staff navigate their emotions and respond to trauma.
We know the journey forward will be difficult, but we commit ourselves to continue to do all we can to create supportive and safe school environments that also demonstrate what a peaceful community can look like.
San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools
San Mateo Board of Education