October 7, 2019
Dear Lincoln Junior High School Parents, Students, and Staff,
The purpose of this letter is to provide information to parents, students, and staff regarding recent incidents of physical aggression involving Lincoln Junior High School students. The safety and well-being of students and staff is out highest priority in the Taft City Schoo District, and I would like to take this opportunity to remind students of the serious consequences that come with any act of physical aggression, including threats of such behavior.
California Education Code for student discipline defines physical aggression as a student who has “caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person and a student who has willfully used force or violence upon the person of another, except in self-defense” (California Education Code, Section 48900 (a)(1), (a)(2). Additionally, “a pupil who aids or abets the infliction or attempted infliction of physical injury to another person may suffer suspension, but not expulsion” (California Education Code, Section 48900 (t)).
According to the California Education Code for student discipline, a student may be suspended or expelled for acts which are related to school activity or attendance while on the school grounds, while going to or coming from school, during the lunch period whether on or off campus, and during or while going to or coming from a school sponsored activity.
Lincoln Junior High School has followed up on every report that has been received within the school site and from the public, including threats listed on social media, and law enforcement and the district have investigated all threats to determine credibility. In the event of a threat that is deemed credible, the school employs a full range of tools to mitigate those threats, and reports all credible threats to law enforcement and subsequently applies student discipline as appropriate.
Please be assured that all incidents of physical aggression that have occurred at Lincoln Junior High School have been reported to law enforcement, fully investigated, and appropriate student discipline has been applied to ensure the safety of our students. Lincoln Junior High School will continue to investigate all reported incidents of physical aggression as well as all threats of physical aggression at school.
Lincoln Junior High School students currently have limited access to the school outdoor yard area, and that restriction will continue until the acts and threats of student physical aggression are resolved. The staff at Lincoln is also preventing students from congregating in large groups on the grounds – without exception. The District has increased adult supervision on campus and has requested additional law enforcement presence in order to ensure safety for all. We encourage parents, students, and staff to follow our protocols of “If you see something, say something” immediately to school officials regarding any incidents involving acts or threats of physical aggression to another student. The intention of the District is to be preventative and proactive in order to ensure a safe environment at Lincoln Junior High School for all students and staff.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at 7631521.
Julie Graves, Ed.D.