Dear L.A. Unified Family,
The recent tragic events involving school shootings has understandably created anxiety and concern regarding overall school safety. I want to assure you that the dedicated school police officers serving the Los Angeles Unified School District are committed to providing protection for our students, employees and school communities. We take this responsibility seriously and will use every available method and practice to protect school communities.
This includes immediately responding to safety threats received, including those from social media. Unfortunately, social media posts depicting pictures of firearms and other weapons, coupled with statements suggesting a threat to school safety, tend to increase significantly following tragic incidents. Equally concerning is the fact that a large majority of these social media posts involve students and school-age children attempting to cause fear and anxiety as a simple joke or thrill of experiencing reactions.
Please know that our school police department and our law enforcement partners take these threats seriously. Investigators and school police officers immediately respond to and investigate all such threats received. These threats are unlawful, regardless of intention, and may result in serious criminal and civil consequences that include possible financial restitution for hours spent on investigations. They also may have serious administrative consequences at the school level, including possible expulsion and graduation implications. We need everyone to understand that these irresponsible actions can have life-long implications.
Here is what parents and guardians can do to help:
- Please take a moment to discuss this important issue with your children.
- Please stay connected and monitor social media activities your children are engaged in.
- Please reach out to your principal, the local police or other trained professionals if you see behavior that has potential for causing self-harm or harm to others.
- Please ensure that if you own a firearm, keep it locked in an approved storage component or locker: This is the law!
- Please ensure that your children do not have access to firearms while visiting homes of friends or relatives.
- If you hear or see something, say something! Please report safety concerns to your school or to law enforcement. The Los Angeles School Police Department also has an anonymous 24-hour Weapons Hot-Line at 1-800-954-4357 (1-800-954 HELP).
Safety is everyone's responsibility. By working, talking and listening together – especially with our students – we will continue to keep our school communities safe.
Thank you for your collaboration.