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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #17-69
October 2, 2017
Contact: Scott Roark
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson Expresses Condolences to Victims of Las Vegas Mass Shooting and Encourages Educators to Reassure Students

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson expressed shock, dismay, and grief over the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada and reinforced support for victims and families devastated by the tragedy. Among the victims was Sandy Casey, a special education teacher who taught at Manhattan Beach Middle School for the past nine years.

 “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who experienced this horrific and senseless act of violence, especially any children and young people who may be impacted,” Torlakson said. “Incidents like this ultimately affect everyone in our great nation, including many of our students and their families.”

“I ask all educators to support students who may have questions, raise concerns, or need reassurance when talking about violence in schools. The road to recovery will be hard, the healing will take time, but at this moment, we stand together in our commitment and in our message to our leaders, to make America a safer place for all.”

Torlakson also encouraged schools to fly their flags at half-staff in a show of support. Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff in recognition of the victims and their families.

The National Education Association published an article today with advice from the National Association of School Psychologists about how to talk to students about violence and other tragedies at:

Additional resources can also be round on the California Department of Education’s Violence Prevention Web page at

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
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