Dear GUSD staff and families:
Today, District and Gilroy High School (GHS) administrators made the difficult decision to cancel classes on the GHS campus tomorrow, Friday, December 17, because of threats of violence posted on several social media accounts earlier this week, which were directed at GHS. Tomorrow, Friday, December 17, classes at Gilroy High School are canceled out of an abundance of caution. All other schools in the Gilroy Unified School District are operating as scheduled, as no threats have been received regarding other campuses.
District Office and school leaders worked through the night in partnership with the Gilroy Police Department to complete a threat assessment on the information we received yesterday, including identifying the source of the threat. I am grateful for the strong partnership between GPD and GUSD and the collaborative work we do to keep our schools and the Gilroy community safe. I have faith that the Gilroy Police Department will thoroughly assess the situation and provide the appropriate recommendations for next steps as we continue to work together.
As our country is still reeling from the shooting at a Michigan high school on November 30, the Gilroy community is also still healing from the impacts of the Garlic Festival shooting in July 2019. At the top of my mind is the trauma that comes up for our staff and students who were affected by the Garlic Festival each time a shooting happens in other parts of our country. I continue to look to you as parents and trusted adults of our students to partner with our team to act on information that you hear or see that could potentially be harmful to our school communities. Thanks to so many of you who alerted us to the social media posts that surfaced on Wednesday night. We had parents and students from other campuses sharing this information with our team as well. It is always the right thing to do to share information like this with our staff, and we are grateful to the community-at-large for showing concern for the GHS community. It is never an inconvenience for our staff when parents bring attention to potential threats or danger. We welcome your input as we work together to provide safety and security for everyone on our campuses.
There is a short time between now and our Winter Break. I am sending best wishes to our students who are completing final exams today and tomorrow, and I acknowledge the disruption that canceling school has caused for students at Gilroy High School who will not be able to complete finals this week. Our children continue to show incredible resilience despite all of the challenges they face. Their safety, and the safety of our staff, will always be what guides our decisions in instances like this.
Take care of each other,
Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Gilroy Unified School District