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Morning Lookout: ‘Upsetting and startling that this type of incident would occur at one of our local high schools’

Good Morning! It’s Thursday, September 2 and it will be partly sunny with a high of 73. With two massive wildfires and a few smaller ones raging in the state, the folks at the National Weather Service are warning people to expect some haze.

The tragedy at Aptos High has brought school safety top of mind for students, parents and school officials. After PVUSD broke their relationship with law enforcement last year leaving schools without a school resource officer, Sheriff Jim Hart is questioning whether the district was prepared to keep its students safe. Meanwhile, Watsonville police arrested a 13-year-old middle school student yesterday following an armed confrontation with a peer. And not all Santa Cruz County high schools have the same safety protocols. To make things more clear, we have a breakdown for you here.

Let’s dive in:

‘It doesn’t make sense’: County’s top cop decries PVUSD decision to break relationship with sheriff’s office

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart speaks at Tuesday night's news conference.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s stabbing death of a student at Aptos High School that resulted in murder charges for two other students, Santa Cruz County’s top police officer is questioning whether the school was prepared to keep its students safe. The Pajaro Valley School District severed its relationship with the sheriff’s office last year, resulting in the elimination of a school resource officer. Read more from our Grace Stetson here.

ORIGINAL REPORTING: ‘Heartbreaking’: Student dead after stabbing at Aptos High, two other students to be charged with murder

Watsonville police: 13-year-old brandished a knife at Cesar Chavez Middle School

The entrance to the Watsonville Police Department on Dec. 15, 2020.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Watsonville Police Department reported Wednesday afternoon that a 13-year-old student at Cesar Chavez Middle School has been arrested, following an armed confrontation with another student. The teen is currently awaiting processing at juvenile hall. Read more from Grace here.

What to know: Santa Cruz County high school safety plans

Santa Cruz High
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In the aftermath of the Aptos High School tragedy, student safety is on the minds of parents, educators and students. Public safety officials have noted the importance of school resource officers, roles which are in some — but not all — Santa Cruz County public schools. To cut through the confusion of the differing safety measures and protocols, our Neil Strebig has a summary of these plans by high school. Read more here.

Pencils, paper, PCR testing: Start of school year in Santa Cruz County amid Delta brings hopes and concerns

Jamie Sanyal talks to her son Cooper, 8, as he gets ready to go to school at Bay Front Elementary in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Almost 40,000 students are back in class in Santa Cruz County public schools this year — the third academic year during which students, parents and school staff are facing down the COVID-19 pandemic. The highly contagious Delta variant has brought new concerns about safety for a population that is still not entirely eligible for the vaccine. Read more from Lookout contributor Hillary Ojeda here.

READ ALSO: California sees progress in coronavirus fight compared with Texas, Florida, other states (LA Times)

Join Second Harvest Food Bank and Lookout in the fight against childhood hunger

group photo

Our Civic Partner Second Harvest Food Bank has risen to the tough challenge of combatting childhood hunger in Santa Cruz County. And for a limited time, when you join Lookout as an annual member, $54 will go directly to Food for Children, the food bank’s fresh-produce-to-kids fall initiative. That’s a $27 donation from Lookout, matched by a Second Harvest donor. Read the details and sign up here.

A number of Santa Cruz County nonprofits are teaching kids how to grow and cook food, and develop stronger connections...

Recall Newsom updates

Composite photo of John Cox(R) and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer(L)

Republican recall candidates want big California tax cuts. Who would benefit? California’s personal income taxes, collected under rules that require those who earn more to pay the most, could be dramatically reshaped should voters remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office and select one of the recall election’s leading Republican contenders. At least two of the candidates have promised income tax cuts. Read more here.

Chris Cummins is photographed outside the home she shares with her daughter and grandchildren in Martinez on. Aug. 27, 2021

Newsom’s stimulus left out many retirees, veterans and disabled Californians. Will they vote to recall him? Californians who get by on government benefits and don’t file taxes aren’t getting state stimulus checks. Republican recall candidates are trying to capitalize on their anger. It’s difficult to predict how much this frustration could affect Newsom’s odds of overcoming the recall. Read more here.

Around the county...

Santa Cruz Warriors host Sea Dubs Fan Fest, youth basketball clinic on Sept. 26 (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Santa Cruz’s Charlie Hong Kong serves lunch to local farmworkers (The Pajaronian)

Santa Cruz leaders wrestle with potential district elections (Santa Cruz Local)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs on everything we’re publishing through the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Lookout Santa Cruz

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