Dear Laguna Beach Unified Families,
We are thrilled to welcome you back and wish you all a happy new year. We hope you are relaxed, recharged, and ready to kick off the second half of the 21-22 school year strong. We are honored to be a part of a fantastic learning community full of caring and compassionate students, parents, and staff. We welcome and value your positive energy and dedication towards ensuring a school community that celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In light of recent concerns brought to the district's attention around anti-Semitic statements being used at Thurston Middle School, we want to express our commitment to ensure that every family feels safe and welcome. We recognize that anti-Semitic rhetoric has a negative impact on perceptions of safety. We have and will continue to address any type of discriminatory behavior promptly using appropriate discipline strategies.
All four of Laguna Beach Unified Schools have been designated by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as No Place for Hate schools for the past four years. No Place for Hate is a collaborative initiative that provides PreK–12 schools with an organizing framework for students, administrators, teachers, and family members to develop long-term solutions for creating and maintaining an inclusive and equitable climate. No Place for Hate schools receive their designation in the following ways:
- Building inclusive and safe communities in which respect and equity are the goals and where all students can thrive.
- Empowering students, faculty, administration, and family members to stand against bias and bullying by incorporating new and existing programs under one powerful message.
- Sending a clear, unified message that all students have a place where they belong, are valued, and should be treated equitably.
We recognize that this work is continually ongoing and ever-evolving. As a public education organization, we have a special obligation to uplift, support, and raise awareness aligned with the needs of the students we serve. ALL students have the right to be safe, healthy, loved, and educated. Because of this, it is part of our mission to continuously strive toward equitable access to education for ALL students so that they may thrive in our schools and within our community. We believe all individuals should be treated with respect and dignity, no matter their race, ethnicity, native language, ability, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, indigenous heritage, or national origin.
We have been and will continue to be advocates for equity and social justice for the families we serve. Our goal is to ensure a safe and inclusive learning community and to activate students to become global citizens and leaders. Our school community stands against all forms of hate, harassment, and discrimination. We are proud to have partnered with Education Elements to ensure every student has a voice in their school and classroom, including communities of color, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students, and multilingual learners.
Please use this opportunity to speak with your child about the power of words. We must work together to ensure our students understand the impact of such actions, including their impact on others and the broader community. LBUSD wants to thank our families for supporting us in providing an environment that protects students from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
Additional resources have been attached below.
Dr. Jason Viloria, Superintendent
Dr. Jason Allemann, LBHS Principal
Mr. Chris Duddy, El Morro Principal
Dr. Julie Hatchel, TOW Principal
Mr. Joe Vidal, TMS Principal
The LBUSD Board of Education recently adopted Board Policy 5144, Discipline, at the December 16th meeting. Our LBUSD schools will continue to uphold the high expectations we set regarding student behavior and those students who violate the code of conduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures including and up to suspension and expulsion as set forth in the policy and California Education Code. Board policy states that we are to use strategies that focus on providing students with needed supports; communicating clear, appropriate, and consistent expectations and consequences for student conduct; and ensuring equity and continuous improvement in implementing district discipline policies and practices. Disciplinary measures that may result in loss of instructional time or cause students to be disengaged from school, such as detention, suspension, and expulsion, shall be imposed only when required or permitted by law or when other means of correction have been documented to have failed.
Our site principals have been and will continue to work with staff, students, and stakeholders to develop an updated discipline matrix that lists violations and consequences for each as allowed by law.
References for Families
Families with Concerns Are Encouraged to:
- Contact your child's principal.
- Text-a-Tip: (858) 848-7TIP; (858) 848-7847; and the adoption of our new anonymous 24/7/365 tip reporting service, WeTip 2.0, starting in late January 2022 and beyond.