Ojai Unified School superintendent sends 'School Safety Update' after shooting at Saugus High School on Nov. 14

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Ojai Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Morse


Ojai Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Morse posted an online letter to families in the Ojai Unified School District at 6:25 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, following a shooting Thursday morning at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, just outside Ventura County.
The shooting occurred at the school at about 7:30 a.m., leaving two students — a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy — dead and four injured. One of the injured was the 16-year-old gunman who shot himself in the head and is in grave condition.
The high school has about 2,300 students.
Below is the letter Superintendent Morse posted to OUSD families through the district's parent email. She also linked the school district's recent public school safety forum with Ojai Police Chief James Fryhoff and a school safety expert, recorded by the Ojai Valley News at
"Dear OUSD family, 
We are deeply saddened to learn about the shooting at Saugus High School. No matter where these events happen, we know that the trauma can impact our own students, families, and local community.  Here are some suggestions on how to help those who may be affected:
If students want to talk about this or other incidents; listen, acknowledge their feelings and without judgement. 
Assure them that we are working as a community to regularly assess and improve our safety measures.
If your child is worried or feels unsafe at school, they can talk to a school counselor or school administrator. If you would like us to reach out to your child, just let us know.
Talk to your children about what to do if they see or hear something that makes them feel unsafe. In 80% of school shootings, the perpetrator gives advance warning. The best way to keep our community safe is to immediately report suspicious behavior. Students and adults can anonymously reach out via  the non-emergency line, 24 hours a day, at 805-654-9511.
In addition to the emotional support needed during these times, we are working on significant measures to keep our OUSD students safe at school. These include:
— Working with our police Chief, Captain Fryhoff, to conduct safety training for staff.
— Holding an Engage to Impact community forum to discuss school safety. You can view the meeting
— Enlisting the guidance of a physical security expert to walk each campus and create a report on safety improvements.
— Implementing improved safety protocols at each site, such as the new school entrance at Meiners Oaks Elementary.
— Creating a Threat Assessment Team at each campus.
— Conducting random K-9 weapon searches.
— Developing our own safety training videos for students.
— Regular visits and visual inspections from Sheriff units.
— Developing a "See Something, Say Something" campaign for students.
— Conducting lock-down drills, including during non-classroom times such as before and after school
— Connecting our cameras with the local law enforcement's system
Because, in some cases, security plans have been used as a tool by perpetrators for planning, we have implemented additional security measures that we are not publicizing, as a security precaution.
My heart truly hurts for those affected today and for our own students who have to grow up with these ever-more-frequent events. I want to assure you our staff and administration hold our student and staff safety as our highest value. We appreciate and value your help as we do this work together for the future of our kids. 


Dr. Tiffany Morse, Superintendent"

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