Over the past few weeks we have seen some very disturbing events. The tragedy of Florida is a painful reminder of our need to create safe and secure schools. The scare at Exeter on Friday, 24 February, places such events in our own backyard. Much of this scare was created through Social Media. In watching the news you should be aware of the three 13 year old students arrested in Pixley, and the two students arrested in Lemoore. As a Safety Trainer, I see that the events that were stopped, were done so because the students involved knew that they had an adult in their life that they could go to, and be heard, and even more importantly valued. In the other events the students unfortunately, did not have that.
Please know that the staff, and the School Board of Sequoia Union Elementary are working closely to ensure that we keep our/your students as safe as possible. To achieve this goal takes all of us. I would ask that each of you have those necessary conversations with your students. Check their computers, and cellphones regularly. Know what they are looking at, listening to, and researching. This is not violating their privacy, it is letting them know that you are present and care about them. The safest schools are those where the students know that they are valued, appreciated, and are heard.
We must prepare for natural and man-made calamities, and I feel we have come a long way in this effort. I appreciate the support we have received, and truly appreciate what I see as some of the best parent-student relationships that I have ever seen in 20 plus years as an educator. Those bonds help to make our school a safer place for the students. Thank you for your hard work. It truly takes a community to raise a child.
Perry D. Jensen
Sequoia Union Elementary School District