San Francisco schools are stepping up police presence through the end of the school year in response to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 19 children.
In a statement issued this morning, SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews said that while there have been no local threats related to Tuesday’s massacre, police in the city will increase patrols “around schools” through June 1.
“The safety and security of students and staff is of utmost importance to SFUSD,” he wrote. “The district has a comprehensive crisis plan in the event of any emergency, and schools also have security measures to ensure the well-being of students and staff.”
At some campuses, he said, those measures may include stricter check-in procedures for visitors and locked doors after classes start. Other tools include surveillance cameras, security aides and what Matthews described as “other evidence-based prevention measures.”
If an emergency does take place at a local school, the superintendent said SFUSD will alert parents immediately via text, email and phone call. He urged parents to subscribe to district notifications through the SchoolMessenger app and to make sure their children’s school has their current contact information.
Dear SFUSD Community:
We share the grief and concern following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas. This is a tragic and senseless event and we are keeping the victims’ families in our hearts.
Please know that we take safety plans and preparations extremely seriously here at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). The safety and security of students and staff is of utmost importance to SFUSD. The district has a comprehensive crisis plan in the event of any emergency, and schools also have security measures to ensure the well-being of students and staff. Depending on the school site, these may include visitor check-in procedures, locked doors after the start of the school day, surveillance cameras, security aides and other evidence-based prevention measures.
Furthermore, actively cultivating strong relationships at school—between students and students, and students and adults—is fundamental to safety and it’s something our schools do very well. Youth face a lot of challenges and need a range of trusted adults to support them. That’s why SFUSD has more school counselors and social workers per student than almost any other school district in the state. We believe it is part of our responsibility to cultivate students’ mental health and social-emotional well-being.
This tragedy is an opportunity for all of us to talk to our students about how we care for them and how we want them to be safe.
While we are not aware of any threats or connections to events in Texas, in an abundance of caution the San Francisco Police Department has informed us they will have an increased police presence around schools from now until the end of the school year next Wednesday, June 1.
If an emergency does occur at a school, we will notify parents as quickly as possible using a variety of means including text, email and phone call. In order to receive messages, your child’s school must have your current contact information, and you must not have unsubscribed from SFUSD notifications via SchoolMessenger. If you have accidentally unsubscribed from SchoolMessenger text messages, you can always text “Y” to 67587 to re-subscribe. Please note, this will only work if your mobile number is entered correctly in the district’s system already. Update your contact information on ParentVUE today by visiting www.sfusd.edu/contactinfo.
More information about SFUSD’s safety and emergency notifications can be found here: www.sfusd.edu/services/safety-emergency.
Recent events can be teachable moments and moments for positive change. We have included links to some resources that you may find useful in supporting your child(ren) in times of stress and worry.
SFUSD has many practices in place to keep our students safe and to prepare for the various types of crises that could occur. As a community, let’s continue to work together to be vigilant in ensuring that our schools here and across the nation are safe and nurturing learning environments.
Dr. Vincent Matthews
Superintendent of Schools
Jennifer Wadsworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org