SPECIAL Personal Message to Students

School safety and security is on everyone's minds these days as the most recent school shooting in florida rocked the nation. Keeping our students safe includes a multi-pronged strategy to prepare for and react to any unwelcome intrusions or events. Building awareness, maintaining updated site safety plans, identifying new safety features and hardware, running drills, seeking out relevant trainings, securing open areas, partnering with fremont police, and staying up to date on lessons learned from other situations are all part of the district’s approach to increase school safety and we are committed to taking steps in all of those areas.

While the adults in our community are actively working on policies, practices, and procedures, I want to spend the rest of my time in this message speaking directly to our students. You are the most important element to prevent future tragedies. We know that you know more than we do. You are the eyes and ears on social media, chat rooms, and text messaging. You have the relationships. You know what’s going on in your fellow students' lives - what they are angry about, depressed about, gossiping about, or planning for.

Only you know what it's like being a young person in today's society and have a perspective that is unique to your generation. Though I'm pretty sure that it's not cool (if cool is even still a word you use) to share your world with us adults, we need your partnership. We need your expertise. We need your voices to rise up and claim that you won't stand for a school that is not safe, nurturing, or a place for all to learn. It is our sincere belief that "if you see or hear something and say something" our schools will be safer because of it.

On a personal note, though I'm no longer as young, I do vividly remember what it was like being a kid. I remember the unexpected waves of emotion, trying to fit in, the stress and anxiety of school work, misunderstandings with my parents, navigating complicated social relationships, and even sometimes feeling lost and hopeless. If you can relate to any of those experiences, know that you are not alone. Reach out for support. We are here for you. We want the best for you. And understand that you have the power to change not only your own lives, but make others’ lives better. Fusd is 35,000 students strong - just think of what impact you can make on the world. And I'm behind you all the way.

Kim Wallace - Superintendent