The 2016 presidential election has fostered a wide range of opinions and emotions among students, staff members and families. Much of the rhetoric surrounding the election has caused fear in our communities and resulted in incidents of discrimination and intolerance in many of our schools. Whatever our differences may be, it is critical that every member of our community feels valued and respected.
In Contra Costa County School Communities, we teach and promote tolerance, but we do not tolerate hatred. We continue to reinforce civility and respect, and honor our role as educators in providing students with a safe, supportive environment in which to learn and express themselves. As adults on our school campuses, we want to demonstrate tolerance for differing opinions, compassion, empathy, and support for students and colleagues.
The purpose of this Post-Election Toolkit is to provide resources for schools and districts in Contra Costa County in dealing with some of the issues that have surfaced as a result of the 2016 election. It is not meant to be an endorsement of any political belief or viewpoint, but rather a helpful tool in communicating the message of compassion and support for students so that they know they are safe and can continue to learn, lead and achieve to the best of their abilities.
If you have any questions about this toolkit, please feel free to contact our Communications Department. Thank you for your ongoing support of students and schools in Contra Costa County.
Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools
Using this toolkit
The Contra Costa County Office of Education's Communications Department has coordinated the creation of a toolkit with resources to help school administrators communicate with employees, parents, and students about items of interest following the 2016 presidential election. This toolkit was assembled by a small work group comprised of educators, communication professionals and community members from throughout the Contra Costa County education community.
Among other things, the toolkit includes strategies in dealing with potential student demonstrations, tips for educators and parents to support students in stressful times, examples of communications sent by teachers and administrators in the wake of the election, and policy-focused resources that address immigrant rights.
We anticipate that the need for resources will continue to grow and change, and we will continue to update the toolkit as necessary. Feel free to use any of the documents to best meet the needs of your district or school.
These resources, which we have compiled to assist districts and schools, are not meant to be comprehensive. They are also not meant to endorse a particular political viewpoint or the views represented in these resources. You know your community best, so use discretion when selecting which materials to share and with which audiences. If you have access to other resources that you think may be appropriate for this toolkit, please send an email to
We hope this information will help you address questions and concerns you may be hearing in your school community. Check back often for updated materials. Let us know if you have any questions.
Policy Related Resources
- Undocumented Students and Families: The Facts, ACSA/Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost LLP added 1-17-2017
- Board Policies, Education Code, and Resources Related to Protests or Walk-Outs, Pittsburg USD (docx)
- State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Assures California Public School Students That They are Safe From Discrimination and Bullying, Article from CDE
- National Call to Action: Make our School Values Known
- Department of Homeland Security Immigration Policy Memo (2011)
- DACA Students, “Sanctuary Campuses,” and Institutional or Community Assistance,
American Council on Education
- Recognition of a Safe Haven School District, Sacramento City USD Board of Education
- Commitment to Education of all Immigration Children, San Francisco Board of Education
- Commitment to Education of all Children and Protection of Rights of Undocumented Students,
Santa Monica-Malibu USD Board of Education
- Pittsburg USD Resolution #16-12 (English) added 1-17-2017
- Pittsburg USD Resolution #16-12 (Spanish) added 1-17-2017
School Safety and Climate
Supporting Students and Families
- SSWAA Response – Creating a Positive Climate in Schools (added 2/21/2017)
- Charting the Course Support for Students Suffering Increased Trauma and Anxiety (added 2/21/2017)
- Supporting Marginalized Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Educators, National Association of School Psychologists
- Supporting Vulnerable Students in Stressful Times, National Association of School Psychologists
- *Teaching Students Peace and Tolerance (Spanish) National Association of School Psychologists
- Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events, National Association of School Psychologists
- How to Talk With Students by Age
- Help for Immigrant Families Post-Election, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- *Family Paths Parent Support Hotline, Alameda County (Spanish and English)
- *Post-election Talking Points (Spanish)
- Immigrant Rights, FAQs for Students, Educators and Social Service Providers (English), MALDEF
- *Immigrant Rights, FAQs for Students, Educators and Social Service Providers (Spanish), MALDEF
- Tips to Steer Kids of All Ages Through the Political Season, Common Sense Media Website
- What Should We Tell Our Kids? Be Tomorrow's Leaders, Today, Common Sense Media Webiste
Lesson Plans and Classrooms Resources
*Resources in Spanish
Post-Election Toolkit Work Group
- Vanessa Berastain, High School Parent
- Adam Clark, Assistant Superintendent, Antioch Unified School District
- Sarah Cranford, Principal, California High School, San Ramon Valley USD
- Terilyn Finders, Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs, Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP
- Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sidrian, Ph.D., Psychologist, Pittsburg High School
- Terry Koehne, Chief Communications Officer, Contra Costa County Office of Education
- Jonathan Lance, Communications Specialist, Contra Costa County Office of Education
- Annmarie Maione, Ph.D, Psychologist, Pittsburg High School
- Willie Mims, Education Chair, East County NAACP
- Nicky Mora, Communications and Public Relations Specialist, Pittsburg Unified School District
- Diane Morrell, Communications Specialist, Contra Costa County Office of Education
- Marcus Walton, Director of Communications, West Contra Costa Unified School District
- Rona Zollinger, Ph.D., Teacher on Special Assignment, Martinez Unified School District
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Page updated on: February 22, 2017