As the world reacts to the terrorist attacks on civilians in Israel this week and the outbreak of war in that region, some schools in the Bay Area are taking extra security precautions out of an abundance of caution.
In Piedmont, police have said they will increase their presence at school facilities, and school officials and support groups have shared resources for families.
In light of recent horrific events stemming from the attack on Israel by Hamas and the resulting war, the Piedmont Police Department extends our deepest condolences for the innocent loss of life. We also recognize how this tragedy and ongoing war may affect our local Jewish and Muslim communities. PPD personnel have been in contact with our regional law enforcement partners to stay up to date on evolving intelligence related to antisemitic and anti-Muslim activity and trends. We have also reached out directly to local religious and stakeholder groups to offer support and determine specific needs during this time.
Finally, we have been in communication with PUSD Superintendent Hawn relative to coordinating our efforts to ensure the actual and perceived safety of our schools is maintained, including increased PPD presence at school facilities.
The Piedmont Police Department will vigorously respond to and investigate instances of hate activity in Piedmont and ask that individuals call 911 for emergency situations or (510) 420-3000 for non-emergencies.Police Chief Jeremy Bowers said in a social media post on Wednesday, Oct. 11
PUSD Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hawn and School Board President Veronica Anderson Thigpen both expressed horror at the attack this week, sharing links to resources via the weekly email to school families and in remarks at the Oct. 11 School Board meeting. Suggested resources included Jewish Federation of the Bay Area and Facing History, a website with information to help students process the attacks and outbreak of war in the region.
The school/community groups Piedmont Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee (PADC) and Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign (PREC) have also condemned the attacks in emails to their members:
The Piedmont Anti-Racism and Diversity Committee (PADC) stands with our Jewish community in mourning the senseless loss of life at the hands of Hamas terrorists. We strongly condemn all acts of terrorism and are heartbroken for the many innocent lives that will be affected in Israel and the Gaza Strip. PADC believes in the inherent value of every life and we stand against all acts of violence and human suffering. We recognize the profound effects of this crisis and we are committed to supporting initiatives that foster understanding, reconciliation, and mutual respect among diverse communities.
The Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign walks alongside our friends and neighbors with love and compassion in light of the events of the last few days in Israel and the Gaza Strip. We have heard too many stories of innocent people being harmed and are angered and saddened by each life journey cut too short. We hold them and keep them in our thoughts.
PREC believes in love, peace, understanding, compassion, compromise and communication. Innocent Jews were massacred; the largest one day massacre since the Holocaust. Civilians in Gaza, including children, are now being killed and face unimaginable suffering under Israeli airstrikes
In this difficult time, we want to remember that we are all members of this community and we are all worthy of respect. This is a difficult moment and our job is to be loving, tolerant and compassionate. We hope for peace.