TO: Campus Community
FR: President Mike Lee, Ph.D., and Provost Karen Moranski, Ph.D
Dear Campus Community,
As I am sure you are aware, yesterday three students at Montgomery High School were involved in a fight, resulting in a stabbing death – the first on-campus homicide in at least 20 years, according to the Press Democrat.
The trauma and horror of this incident cannot be overstated. Teachers, parents, students, community members — all of us are touched by whatever drew those three young people into a physical altercation, one of whom felt the need to carry a knife to school. To Sonoma State student teachers who were at the school when this occurred, we are so sorry you had to bear witness to this violence. To parents of Montgomery High students, some of whom work at SSU, we are sorry for your children and your families, all of whom are now likely having difficult conversations about what happened and the aftermath. We all mourn with you, for the student who did not survive, and for all of our nation’s children who are subject to violence in school, where all should be safe and free from trauma in order to learn and grow into their futures.
It is especially poignant that today is World Teen Mental Wellness Day. Our teenagers face so many pressures today, witness so much tragedy in their own homes and communities, and are subject to the decisions of adults who may not even know what is going on in their lives. We cannot be timid in our commitment to their safety, security, and overall well-being. We may not have all the answers, but we should definitely be asking questions about the how’s and the why’s, and what it will take to keep something like this from happening again. All of our children are precious, and they deserve our attention and care.
For anyone affected by this or another trauma, please do not hesitate to reach out. Support is available to students from Counseling and Psychological Services at 707-664-2153 or by emailing email@example.com. For faculty and staff, support is available through our Employee Assistance Program, LifeMatters by Empathia.
Let us continue to be kind to one another, always, but especially during times of trauma, confusion, and uncertainty. Our community is a vital resource, and we all contribute to its responsiveness and well-being.