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Pasquale Scuderi head shot

Dear AUSD Staff, Students, and Families:

Between Saturday night and Monday afternoon we witnessed another two mass shootings in our state: one in Monterey Park (in Southern California) and one in Half Moon Bay (just an hour away from Alameda). Even more locally, last evening another shooting claimed the life of one person and wounded eight others at a gas station in Oakland. More lives taken. More indescribable trauma and loss for loved ones left behind.

It is becoming increasingly unnerving to have to acknowledge these incidents, incidents that the New York Times describes as “an achingly familiar scene” in a nation where mass gun violence is becoming “a constant drum beat.” 

As a local education community, we will continue to do our part by advocating on a local and federal level to reduce the number of weapons and types of weapons that are too often contributing to violence in and around schools, community gathering areas, and, as evidenced this weekend, places people go to as part of their daily lives.

Again, we know this news of shootings and other tragedies can find its way into the heads, hearts, and concerns of our young people, and so again we would like to make available some tools for parents and staff that may be helpful in terms of answering questions or facilitating conversations with students. Those resources can be found on our Tools for Family Conversations web page.

As satirists have said poignantly, we are the only developed nation where large portions of our population say that there is nothing we can do about this, while at the same time we are the only developed nation where this happens so often. We can do something about gun violence. It is imperative.

To paraphrase what San Mateo County Supervisor, Dave Pine, said last night, this is an unacceptable way for a modern society to conduct its affairs. 

Please take care and thank you for supporting our students and each other.

Pasquale Scuderi