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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.

Karen Sakata
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.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017 the Trump administration announced its intent to suspend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration policy announced in June 2012 by the Obama Administration through Executive Order that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive deferred action and a renewable two-year work permit.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, California has the largest number of eligible participants in program. 240,000 individuals granted DACA reside in California. Approximately 8,000 reside in Contra Costa County.

Read Superintendent Sakata's Official Statement on DACA

The following is a list of resources pertaining to this decision. We will continue to add to this list as more information and resources become available:

DACA Resources

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)

Department of Homeland Security

California State University

Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)

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Messaging/Talking Points

Policy Related Resources

School Safety and Climate

Supporting Students and Families

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: December 20, 2017

Rev: 0.4-010514-BETA4