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The Santa Clara County of Education (SCCOE) is Committed to serving, inspiring, and promoting student and public school success.
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SAN JOSE, CA – At its August 7 meeting, the Santa Clara County Board of Education passed a resolution advocating for safe and sensible gun reform measures in response to the Garlic Festival Tragedy in Gilroy.
“Three young lives were cut short brutally during an event attended by volunteers seeking to make their community better and families looking for fellowship. Our prayers go out to the friends and family of Stephen Romero, age 5; Keyla Salazar, age 13 and Trevor Irby, age 25. They deserved to live their lives fully. We grieve their untimely deaths,” stated Trustee, Claudia Rossi, who represents Gilroy on the County Board of Education.
The resolution highlights the increased epidemic of gun violence in the United States.
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine states that gun violence is one of the major causes of death in children and adolescents in the United States. There has been an increase in U.S. gun-related child and adolescent deaths raising from 15-percent in 2016 to 26-percent.
In 2019 alone, there have been 255 mass shootings in the United States. That is more than one shooting per day this year, resulting in 1,067 injuries and 273 fatalities.
"As a students first organization, both the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) and the Santa Clara County Board of Education advocate for the safety and well-being for all children. The increased incidents of gun violence that we have seen in our community and across the nation presents a real danger to our students and our larger community,” stated County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Ann Dewan.
The resolution urges the United States Senate to take up legislation recently passed by the House of Representative seeking safe and sensible gun reform, specifically H.R 8 and H.R. 1112, both seeking to strengthen background checks.
“To be effective, gun reform measures need to be implemented not only locally, but across the nation. In California, we have restrictions, but until there are stricter regulations across the country, these tragedies will continue. The time for us to join together and respond as local, state, and national governmental agencies to prevent gun violence is now. One more life lost to such a tragic, and avoidable, event is one too many. This is why both the County Office of Education and County Board of Education advocate for safe and sensible gun reform across the nation,” added Dewan.
To help support schools, the SCCOE has gathered local resources for schools and districts. This page contains resources such as guidance to prevent and mitigate tragedy through mental health supports, how to prepare for an active shooter incident, in responding to the aftermath of a community trauma, how to work together toward safe and healthy schools, and how to talk to children and youth about tragic events.
“We stand together as one county, and we will heal and continue to support each other,” added Dewan.
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About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 21 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.