On May 25th, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Jim Elsasser released “A Message Regarding School Safety.”
Dear PYLUSD Community,
I am writing to you today in response to the tragic events that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas yesterday, May 24. On behalf of the entire Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD), our hearts are broken as we watch the news, read social media, and begin seeing pictures of the innocent victims who lost their lives or are currently fighting for their lives. It is impossible to understand how we can be facing yet another senseless tragedy on a school campus.
As we reflect on this horrific occurrence, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your unwavering support of our schools and, most importantly, our students. Many of our students may struggle with what has occurred in Texas and we encourage everyone to remain mindful of questions that may arise surrounding this attack. We have included several links with information and resources below to assist those who are affected by this tragedy.
We are very proud to serve as your school district and we feel it is important to come together as educational partners during this challenging time. Should you or your students need additional support coping with what has happened, our district has a large team of highly qualified mental health professionals available to assist those who may be impacted. Students, staff, and families are encouraged to contact their school’s front office (students and families) or supervisor (staff) to access these services.
Next, please know that safety remains a top priority in our school district. We work tirelessly to ensure that all students and staff are afforded the opportunity to learn and work in a safe environment. Over recent years, the district has implemented several initiatives, programs, and practices to support safety and wellness in the areas of emergency preparedness, emergency response, staff and student education, parent education, behavioral support, mental/emotional wellness, and physical health. This includes expanded School Resource Officer (SRO) coverage to support school sites, Lock Bloks on all doors, additional fencing to enhance security, electronic visitor sign-in procedures and badging for all visitors on campus, Text-a-Tip lines on secondary campuses, staff training on emergency response protocols, regular safety drills to help us prepare for emergency situations, and universal school safety plans.
We maintain strong, collaborative partnerships with all five of our law enforcement agencies including the Placentia Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Anaheim Police Department, Fullerton Police Department, and Brea Police Department. On a regular basis, we work to strengthen our procedures with local law enforcement and health agencies to ensure we plan and train to respond to emergency situations in an efficient and effective manner.
We also encourage our students, staff, and families to be vigilant in reporting any concerns to district and/or school staff through this important reminder: If you see something, say something. Report unusual or suspicious activity to district or school administrators, and encourage students to do the same with staff members or through mechanisms like Text-a-Tip, if available. It is our belief that we must all do our part in creating a safe and nurturing environment on our campuses.
In times like these, we are reminded that every single adult in our school community contributes to our students’ safety and well-being. On behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to thank you for everything you do for our students in PYLUSD. We will continue to keep Robb Elementary School, as well as the larger Uvalde community, in our thoughts and prayers.
Dr. Jim Elsasser
Superintendent of Schools
How to help children cope with tragic events
Orange County Department of Education (OCDE)
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
American Psychological Association
Helping children with tragic events in the news
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Coping with tragedy
California Department of Education (CDE)
Coping with a disaster or traumatic event
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Find local counseling-related services