News

Police to increase presence at schools this week in response to massacre at school in Texas

Local officials respond to 'senseless act,' demand action

An empty hallway at Encinal Elementary School in Atherton in 2020. The Atherton Police Department will deploy extra patrols around schools in town this week following a mass shooting in Texas on May 24, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Police will increase their presence this week at local schools in response to the killing of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24. The mass shooting comes on the heels of recent gun violence in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park that affected young children.

The Atherton Police Department plans to send extra patrols to rotate around schools in town the rest of the week, said Police Chief Steve McCulley in an email. The nearby Mountain View Police Department plans to do the same, according to its Twitter account.

In Menlo Park, police are "not so much as adding extra patrols, but spending time in and around area schools to reassure students they have a safe environment in which to learn," said police spokeswoman Nicole Acker in an email.

The Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) Superintendent Erik Burmeister pointed out in an email to families on Tuesday night that it's "hard to find any comfort" in thinking that the local community is immune from gun violence.

In our grief, we can't find any comfort in thinking that we are immune in our local community.

-Erik Burmeister, Superintendent Menlo Park City School District

"It was just last week that children in East Palo Alto were terrorized by gun violence at a park where t-ball is regularly played and families enjoy gathering," he said. "And the week before that, a shooting took place outside a home where five of our MPCSD students live in the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park. I share this not to frighten or to heighten emotion unnecessarily. I share this to say that until all children in all our communities feel and ARE safe from gun violence, then no child is."

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

"There are no words I can share that will make sense of this senseless act," he said. "Our hearts ache for the families of the victims, for the staff and community of Uvalde, and the children who attend Robb Elementary School. Gun violence is a terrorism perpetrated on communities with unacceptable regularity and succession. However, it is the attacks in our sacred child-serving public spaces, like schools, where this violence is simply unfathomable."

A flag at half-staff at Covington Elementary School in Los Altos on May 25, 2022, a day after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas. Photo by Angela Swartz.

One person died and three were injured in a shooting at Jack Farrell Park in East Palo Alto, where families and children playing on May 17. A gun battle between people in an SUV and those in a home on Windermere Avenue in Belle Haven on April 25 was captured on a neighbor's security camera; no injuries were reported.

District Trustee Francesca Segrè tweeted on Wednesday:

MPCSD will contract with outside service providers to increase on-site counseling services to students or staff as necessary, Burmeister said.

The district also added resources for talking to kids about violence to its website’s homepage.

Other local officials react

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Portola Valley Mayor Craig Hughes simply said: "What can I say that hasn't been said a thousand times before?" in response to news of the shooting Tuesday.

Menlo Park Mayor Betsy Nash said Thursday that "this terrible event is a reminder that the time is long past due for real action on sensible gun control and getting assault-style weapons off our streets."

Atherton Mayor Rick DeGolia called the shooting "horrific" and said it takes him back to the Sandy Hook massacre, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults, in 2012.

"I am so, so sad for those families," he said. "America has to change our gun laws. If the guns that are available today were available when the Second Amendment was adopted, it would have been written very, very differently. I am glad that the Atherton Police Department take school shooting tragedies very seriously and actively organize active shooter drills in our local schools."

Menlo School in Atherton's head of school also reacted on Twitter:

San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee emailed families on Tuesday, May 25, to acknowledge the tragedy and plans to share more about how county schools work to help students and keep its schools safe.

"How do we express our deep sorrow and despair in knowing that tonight 18 elementary-school children and one teacher from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, will not come safely home from school?" she said. "There is little, if anything, more horrific, more senseless, and more heartbreaking than this news."

State Sen. Josh Becker, D-Menlo Park, weighed in on Twitter on Tuesday, writing:

Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, said on Twitter:

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, retweeted a widely shared video of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr's impassioned plea for gun control following the shooting:

"We've lost 19 little angels and two beloved educators to one of the largest mass shootings in our country," she said in a statement on Wednesday. "The most grievous pain is that of a parent burying their child. This can end if the American people insist that it does because the gun lobby is not more important than our nation's children."

The Bay Area chapter of Brady: United Against Gun Violence will host a vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Recreation Center gazebo in Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park, 650 Shell Blvd., in Foster City on Wednesday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m, according to Bay City News Service.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now
Angela Swartz joined The Almanac in 2018 and covers education and small towns. She has a background covering education, city politics and business. Read more >>

Follow AlmanacNews.com and The Almanac on Twitter @almanacnews, Facebook and on Instagram @almanacnews for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Get uninterrupted access to important local crime news. Become a member today.

Police to increase presence at schools this week in response to massacre at school in Texas

Local officials respond to 'senseless act,' demand action

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Wed, May 25, 2022, 11:39 am

Police will increase their presence this week at local schools in response to the killing of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24. The mass shooting comes on the heels of recent gun violence in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park that affected young children.

The Atherton Police Department plans to send extra patrols to rotate around schools in town the rest of the week, said Police Chief Steve McCulley in an email. The nearby Mountain View Police Department plans to do the same, according to its Twitter account.

In Menlo Park, police are "not so much as adding extra patrols, but spending time in and around area schools to reassure students they have a safe environment in which to learn," said police spokeswoman Nicole Acker in an email.

The Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) Superintendent Erik Burmeister pointed out in an email to families on Tuesday night that it's "hard to find any comfort" in thinking that the local community is immune from gun violence.

"It was just last week that children in East Palo Alto were terrorized by gun violence at a park where t-ball is regularly played and families enjoy gathering," he said. "And the week before that, a shooting took place outside a home where five of our MPCSD students live in the Belle Haven area of Menlo Park. I share this not to frighten or to heighten emotion unnecessarily. I share this to say that until all children in all our communities feel and ARE safe from gun violence, then no child is."

"There are no words I can share that will make sense of this senseless act," he said. "Our hearts ache for the families of the victims, for the staff and community of Uvalde, and the children who attend Robb Elementary School. Gun violence is a terrorism perpetrated on communities with unacceptable regularity and succession. However, it is the attacks in our sacred child-serving public spaces, like schools, where this violence is simply unfathomable."

One person died and three were injured in a shooting at Jack Farrell Park in East Palo Alto, where families and children playing on May 17. A gun battle between people in an SUV and those in a home on Windermere Avenue in Belle Haven on April 25 was captured on a neighbor's security camera; no injuries were reported.

District Trustee Francesca Segrè tweeted on Wednesday:

MPCSD will contract with outside service providers to increase on-site counseling services to students or staff as necessary, Burmeister said.

The district also added resources for talking to kids about violence to its website’s homepage.

Portola Valley Mayor Craig Hughes simply said: "What can I say that hasn't been said a thousand times before?" in response to news of the shooting Tuesday.

Menlo Park Mayor Betsy Nash said Thursday that "this terrible event is a reminder that the time is long past due for real action on sensible gun control and getting assault-style weapons off our streets."

Atherton Mayor Rick DeGolia called the shooting "horrific" and said it takes him back to the Sandy Hook massacre, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults, in 2012.

"I am so, so sad for those families," he said. "America has to change our gun laws. If the guns that are available today were available when the Second Amendment was adopted, it would have been written very, very differently. I am glad that the Atherton Police Department take school shooting tragedies very seriously and actively organize active shooter drills in our local schools."

Menlo School in Atherton's head of school also reacted on Twitter:

San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee emailed families on Tuesday, May 25, to acknowledge the tragedy and plans to share more about how county schools work to help students and keep its schools safe.

"How do we express our deep sorrow and despair in knowing that tonight 18 elementary-school children and one teacher from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, will not come safely home from school?" she said. "There is little, if anything, more horrific, more senseless, and more heartbreaking than this news."

State Sen. Josh Becker, D-Menlo Park, weighed in on Twitter on Tuesday, writing:

Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, said on Twitter:

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, retweeted a widely shared video of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr's impassioned plea for gun control following the shooting:

"We've lost 19 little angels and two beloved educators to one of the largest mass shootings in our country," she said in a statement on Wednesday. "The most grievous pain is that of a parent burying their child. This can end if the American people insist that it does because the gun lobby is not more important than our nation's children."

The Bay Area chapter of Brady: United Against Gun Violence will host a vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Recreation Center gazebo in Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park, 650 Shell Blvd., in Foster City on Wednesday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m, according to Bay City News Service.

Comments

Enough
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 25, 2022 at 12:04 pm
Enough, Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 25, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Another atrocity and the same response. We have politicians and celebrities running around demanding more gun control. It is useless and purely for show. We have hundreds, if not thousands, of gun laws already on the books and yet we don't prosecute people for breaking those laws, our District Attorneys make plea bargains to reduce gun felonies to misdemeanors. If we want to do anything about these horrifying events like the school shooting, the shooting in Jack Farrell Park or the recent shooting in Belle Haven how about we throw the book at the people when they are caught and charged. Stop the politicians showboating for votes and let's get them to start enforcing the laws they already passed. We should also think of reversing some of the legislation passed that reduces sentences for violent offenders and discourages judges from using enhancements, like using a gun, when determining sentencing.

Here are some recent gun crimes that got off with a slap on the wrist.
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


MenloVoter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 25, 2022 at 1:20 pm
MenloVoter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 25, 2022 at 1:20 pm

Enough:

100% correct. Until the many, many firearms laws we have on the books started getting seriously enforced, this carnage will continue and politicians will continue to wring their hands coming up with yet more laws that won't be enforced so they look like they're "doing something". It's such BS.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.