A Message From Dr. Martinez-Poulin
October 19, 2023
Dear CCUSD Community,
Today's world presents adults with increasing complexities regarding explaining world events to children and supporting them with their questions and emotional responses. With the current crisis in the Middle East, it is crucial for educators and families to have access to appropriate resources to engage in meaningful discussions with students about the events in Israel and Gaza.
Locally, Culver City and Los Angeles County are home to students and staff who may be deeply affected by current events, as well as, previous exposure to the rise in Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents. As a district community, we strive to create safe and inclusive environments for all students, staff, and families as we learn about current events and process emotions.
Proactively, our local Culver City Police Department, district security and district administration are taking appropriate precautions which include additional patrols at our schools, non-visible and additional safety measures throughout our school sites. I have asked our principals to work with their safety, security, and threat assessment teams to be on alert and visible. These specially-trained staff members have immediate reporting access to school administration and law enforcement. We are in constant contact with the FBI and law enforcement intelligence agencies to monitor any threats of violence.
At this time, there are no known threats to our community.
Students are also encouraged to report any perceived or actual threats to their personal safety to their school administrators or counselor, or through the anonymous hotline WeTip.
In your homes, please monitor your child(ren)'s use of social media as reports of inappropriate and traumatic content are increasing. Graphic images and footage of violent conflicts are not easy to process, especially for children and youth. It's even more difficult for those who have experienced trauma or witnessed violence themselves.
Parents, families, caregivers and educators are faced with the challenge of explaining violence and war to children. Although difficult, these conversations are extremely important and in the context of human history help us work towards peace.
Below are resources to help children feel more secure and understand the world in which they live. These resources are intended to provide access to information, and families, parents, caregivers, and educators are encouraged to determine which ones are most appropriate for their children and students.
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (NASP)
Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues That Matter (Facing History and Ourselves)
Teaching Controversial Issues: A Framework for Reflective Practice (Judy Pace)
Classroom Deliberations (Street Law)
Conducting a Civil Conversation in the Classroom (Constitutional Rights Foundation)
Talking With Children About War and Violence In the World (Teacher Vision)
Resources For Educators, Families to Discuss the Events in Israel and Gaza with Students (San Diego County Office of Education)
Social and Emotional Learning Resources
How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War (Common Sense Media)
Talking to Your Kids About War (VeryWell Family)
How to Talk to Your Children About Conflict and War (UNICEF)
Handle with Care: Supporting Young People During Crises (Learning for Justice)
We can also offer extra emotional support to our students, so if they are in need of mental health assistance, have them contact their school counselors. Students who attend CCMS, CCHS, or Culver Park HS can also access mental health services through the Sandy Segal Youth Health Center. For any of our staff members or family members looking to access mental health services, CCUSD partners with Care Solace, a concierge service that helps connect individuals to mental health services. As a reminder all CCUSD employees and their family members have access to CCUSD's EASE program for free confidential counseling assistance. More information is available through our 24/7 access line at (800) 882-1341.
If there are any changes to this developing situation, we will keep you informed.
Maria Martinez-Poulin, Ed. D.
Interim CCUSD Superintendent