Admin
Important Castle View Incident Information
Posted on 11/01/2017
Hands held

Dear Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Families,


On October 31, 2017, an incident occurred at Castle View Elementary School where a man barricaded himself inside of a classroom with one of our teachers. All students were immediately evacuated and reunited with their families. That situation ended that evening due to the coordinated efforts of Riverside Police Department, Riverside Fire Department, and other first responder assignments. Our teacher was quickly transported to the hospital and is now safe and recovering.


Castle View Elementary Temporarily Closed

Due to the incident and the fact that there was an officer-involved shooting at the school, Castle View Elementary is closed from Wednesday, November 1 through Friday, November 3. All other RUSD schools are to remain open and operate as usual.


When will Castle View Elementary open again?

Castle View Elementary will open and resume on Monday, November 6.


When Can I Retrieve My Child’s Personal Items?

Please be aware that from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 2 parents will have the opportunity to come onto campus to collect backpacks, lunch boxes, and other personal items that were left behind when the school was evacuated.

Counselors and Community Support

Counseling support is available in the library at Taft Elementary School (959 Mission Grove Pkwy N, Riverside CA 92506) as well as the Central Registration Center (5700 Arlington Avenue, Riverside CA 92504) for students, parents, staff, and anyone affected by the incident.


Additionally, we will be holding a community outreach meeting for Castle View and RUSD communities at Castle View Elementary School on the lower playground (6201 Shaker Dr, Riverside, CA 92506) on Friday, November 3 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

For those who need transportation to Castle View, busses will be available at Boardwell Park to bring people to and from the school. The busses will depart the park at 4:15 p.m. and will return to the park immediately following the meeting.

How do I stay updated?

We will continue to use the Castle View Elementary School, RUSD website, and Facebook pages to provide updates on this event as well as resources for parents to talk to their children about troubling incidents.

 

Reassure children they are safe

Emphasize that schools are very safe. Validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.

 

Create time to listen and be available to talk

Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient. Children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.

 

Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate

  • Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day.

  • Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools.

  • Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines (e.g. not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to the school safety made by students or community members, etc.), communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.

 

Review school safety procedures

This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.

Observe children’s emotional state. Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort. In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time. However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Seek the help of mental health professional right away if you are at all concerned.

 

Limit media exposure

Limit television viewing and be aware if the television is on in common areas. Monitor what kids are viewing online and how they are consuming information about the event through social media. Developmentally inappropriate information can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children. Adults also need to be mindful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children, even teenagers, and limit their exposure to vengeful, hateful, and angry comments that might be misunderstood.

 

Maintain a normal routine

Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

A lot of these tips can also be applied to educators — to take proper care of their students, they must first take care of themselves.


Resources for parents and teachers: