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.”