The Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs police departments said they will conduct close patrols of local schools until the end of the school year. The announcements via social media follow the tragic mass shooting that took the lives of nineteen students and two teachers in a Texas community.
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department said it will also provide extra patrols during school hours at public and private schools.
"... the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will provide extra patrols around our public and private schools during school hours, to include schools in the Coachella Valley. Although we have no identified threats, this deployment will serve to ensure our community and our children remain and feel safe."- Sgt. Edward Soto, public information officer for the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.
Dr. Mike Swize, Superintendent at Palm Springs Unified School District, said in the wake of several mass shootings, the security teams at the PSUSD would be giving greater scrutiny to emergency plans.
The safety of our students and staff has been and always will be our top priority. School safety and
preparedness is always a topic of discussion and attention; however, in light of these recent
incidents, I am meeting with our Executive Director of Security and Disaster Preparedness to review
all of our procedures to ensure that our District and schools are well prepared for any situation.
Mike Swize, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
Meanwhile, in a letter sent out to parents Wednesday evening, the Coachella Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino wrote the district is working with local law enforcement to provide police presence around its schools.
The Desert Sands Unified School District also sent a letter to parents, informing them that they will work closely with the Sheriff's Dept. & Indio Police in evaluating threats and preparing responses.
In Beaumont, two separate incidents caught the attention of local police. An elementary student brought a pellet gun to school. "officers spoke to the student and parents and determined there had been no threat to students or staff on the campus. The pellet gun was confiscated from the student and any disciplinary action will be handled by school administrators." officials said in a statement.
There was also a rumor of a school shooting set for the last day of classes at one of the local Beaumont schools. "An investigation was completed, and a Student Threat Assessment and Response (STAR) Protocol was conducted at the student’s home, " officials reported. "It was determined the report was unfounded."
Beaumont Police have a request for parents. "Please also take this opportunity to have a conversation with your children about the importance of being vigilant and reporting something of concern to appropriate staff and law enforcement. “If you see something, say something”, together we can work to ensure the safety of both our students and community."
These tips will help you create awareness of the student's emotions and give you ways to reassure their safety and their ability to cope. The recommendations include:
- Reassure children they are safe
- Make time to talk
- Be developmentally appropriate
- Review safety procedures
- Observe emotional state
- Maintain a normal routine
To read the full letter sent to the Palm Springs Unified School District community, see below.