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San Bernardino City Schools Focus on Healing and Safety in Aftermath of Monday’s Shooting

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The San Bernardino City Unified School District is focusing all its resources on helping the community heal in the aftermath of the Monday, April 10 shooting that killed three people, including a teacher and student, at North Park Elementary School.

In addition, the District will do a complete review of our school visitation policies and procedures to identify additional strategies to keep our 50,000 students and more than 8,000 employees safe.

The District is committed to helping survivors, whose sense of safety has been shattered by this tragic incident, said Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden.

District counselors and psychologists trained in helping children and victims cope with trauma met with families and school staff to begin the healing process for the more than 500 students who attend North Park Elementary. The school is staffed by 24 teachers, 18 support staff members, and an administrator who also need support.

“As Board president, it is with a heavy heart that our school community has had to demonstrate their resiliency once again,” said Dr. Margaret Hill. “I am tremendously proud of our employees and community partners for the way they have responded during this tragedy. I want the community to be assured we will do everything we can to make sure our students feel safe.”

Board of Education member Dr. Barbara Flores expressed her sympathy to everyone impacted by Monday’s tragedy.

“What happened yesterday at North Park Elementary School was an unimaginable event,” Flores said. “Yet, it happened. We mourn the deaths of Karen Smith, an RSP teacher, and Jonathan Martinez, her student. Our prayers and loving thoughts are with their parents, families, and friends.”

When speaking of Smith, Marsden said, “She epitomized excellence and everything a special education teacher should be.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson praised the response of school officials and police.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the students, teachers, staff, and the entire community at North Park Elementary School and the San Bernardino City Unified School District. This is a tragedy, especially for young students, but school officials and law enforcement agencies acted quickly to deal with the event.”

Like Torlakson, Marsden praised the North Park Elementary staff, District Police Department, and local law enforcement agencies for their swift response to Monday’s tragedy, which he called an unfortunate and isolated incident.

He also expressed his gratitude to North Park Elementary parents and guardians for patiently waiting to be reunited with their children.

“This is a rare occurrence in our schools,” Marsden said.  “Nevertheless, we will learn from this tragedy, and we will emerge as a stronger and safer school district.”

National Black Grads Provide Scholarships, and Annual Cultural Recognition Ceremony

FONTANA, CA- National Black Grads (NBG) held their 2nd annual “It Takes a Village” Scholarship Breakfast which was co-sponsored by the Black Voice Foundation last Saturday. The Scholarship Celebration offered family members, educators and community members an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of Inland Empire African American students. 

Scholarship donors comprised of local organizations, businesses and individuals desiring to see Inland Empire students thrive in their educational goals were excited to meet the recipients of their $500 or $1000 scholarships and their families. Watching students during “The Reveal” (where students made final decisions on their college/university choice) was one of the ceremony highlights. “It was great to see the 7 or 8 little boys, under the age of 10 all run out and yell YES! When (Darrian Hunter of Eisenhower HS) announced his choice to attend Morehouse College” said Alise Clouser. “It was so great to see the little boys excited for and look up to the graduates.”

The NBG breakfast was well attended and guests included Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren, Riverside County Office of Education Chief Academic Officer Cynthia Glover, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre, and Assemblymember Mark Steinorth. Students received scholarships from Over 160 seniors from 73 different Inland Empire high schools applied to the “It Takes A Village” Scholarship Contest.

The Ontario Convention Center. The IE Black Grad which is the largest HS Black Graduation Recognition Ceremony in Southern California will host its largest crowd to date. This year it looks like we may have over 3,000 in attendance. Each participating graduate will receive an African Kente Stole to wear at their official HS Graduation. This year’s event is only $5.00 for guests and $10.00 for student participants. To register or purchase tickets for IE Black Grad 2017 please visit www.nationalblackgrad.org.

To learn more about NBG’s initiatives please contact us directly at nationalblackgrads@gmail.com.

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church Gears Up for Annual Revival

Dr. Frederick Fairley

Dr. Frederick Fairley

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- The Inland Empire will be in for a night of praise and worship at New Hope Missionary Baptist Churches annual revival on Monday, April 17 to Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. The church is located at 1575 West 17th Street in San Bernardino.

Dr. Freddie Haynes III

Dr. Freddie Haynes III

This year speakers include national preached lecturer, Dr. Frederick Fairley Sr. from Phoenix, Arizona and acclaimed national and internationally known Evangelist Dr. Freddie Haynes III from Dallas, Texas.

All from the community are welcomed to come out each night. Make aure to bring a friend, family, co-worker, or church member.