SAN JOSE, CA – "How do we protect our children?" is a question on the minds of many parents as each school year begins. This past weekend's tragic events at the Gilroy Garlic Festival shocked our community and was yet another reminder of the critical importance of our working hand in hand as schools, parents, local government, law enforcement, and the broader community on behalf of our children.
"The children and youth of our community are our most precious resource and their safety and well-being demand that we band together to create safe spaces for them to learn and grow. We stand in solidarity with the Gilroy community as they begin the difficult and painful healing process," stated County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan.
To help facilitate and support our broader community, the Santa Clara County Office of Education has assembled a
resource page for schools and families. This page contains resources such as guidance 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.
"Creating safe environments for our students and staff is our top priority. We can reassure our children by returning to regular, predictable routines as soon as possible and providing nurturing environments that include caring adults who are there to listen and support them to promote the healing process. I want to assure the broader Santa Clara County Office of Education community that the safety and security and well-being of all students is our number one priority and we are committed to working alongside our local government, mental health, law enforcement, and educators to make that priority a reality," added Dewan.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education works with many local community support agencies to coordinate care for students and young people through many programs including Safe & Healthy Schools which supports enhancing emotional, mental, social components to help each student meet their full potential. The Santa Clara County Office of education's curated resources can be located at
"What makes our community special is its compassion and ability to come together in times of crisis. The Santa Clara County Office of Education and our broader community will band together to heal and support the victims of this tragic event, their families, and the Gilroy community. All of you are in my heart and my thoughts," 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.