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October 31, 2021 letter from Dr. Flores re: added safety & security at high school campuses following this weekend's events
GUSD Communications

Dear GUSD staff and families:

As you may be aware, there was a shooting involving teenagers and young adults in Gilroy in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 30, 2021.  This tragic event left one person dead and three others injured.  The Gilroy Police Department has apprehended one person suspected to be involved in the shooting.  We are awaiting further details from the department as their investigation unfolds.   

As a community member, I am distressed to learn that an altercation between people at a celebratory event ended in gun violence that has forever changed the lives of all who attended, as well as their friends and families.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have been directly impacted by this tragedy.  As a result of the events this weekend, my attention now is focused on ensuring the safety of our staff and students while on our campuses, and for the District and our community to do the best we can to make sure that there are no further acts of violence that might occur in retaliation.  

  • Beginning tomorrow, Monday, November 1, we have deployed all available mental health support staff and school psychologists to Gilroy High School, Christopher High School and Mt. Madonna High School to provide counseling services and emotional support for those who need it.  
  • The Gilroy Police Department and GUSD safety personnel have been assigned to campuses to add an extra layer of safety and security, and to provide staff and student support as we return to campus following the events of this weekend.  
  • Our Emergency Preparedness and School Safety Coordinator has provided ongoing guidance and support as needed.
  • Community Solutions has committed their available resources to provide support to staff, students and families outside of regular school hours. More information regarding the supports Community Solutions offer can be accessed online
  • GUSD continues to use the STOPit mobile app for students to anonymously report threats or acts of violence or bullying.  

I want to reiterate that the safety of our staff and students is always the top priority in all decisions we make.  There is no room for violence on our campuses.  I am well aware of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures has had on our students who depend on the connections made with teachers and school staff to provide positive mentoring and access to resources.  Now is the time for our community to come together to provide that safe space for our children.  It is imperative that we do our very best to provide alternatives to violence for our youth, and model that behavior for them.  

The goal of our school communities is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students on our campus at all times.   Any acts of violence or threats of violence will be taken seriously by our staff and school district, and may result in the removal of student(s) from campus.  We will take the strongest actions possible in dealing with threats of violence and violent acts, up to and including, expulsion from the Gilroy Unified School District. Please encourage your students to tell a trusted adult if they hear or see something that makes them uncomfortable on campus.  

I appreciate your continued commitment to partner with our schools and the greater Gilroy community to emphasize to your children that violent acts are not the answer for problems they are facing.

Many thanks for your participation and support as we work together to maintain safe environments for our children in which to learn and thrive.

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Gilroy Unified School District

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