Gonzales Community School hosts discussion focused on child abuse prevention

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SANTA FE, N.M. – Gonzales Community School partnered with the Solace Crisis Treatment Center to host a discussion on how to prevent child abuse.

School leaders focused on how to build a strong community and how to keep students safe. According to experts, it is important to recognize that abuse can affect the entire community.

"It is not just a child who is harmed, it is not just a family who is harmed or targeted. It’s an entire community, so if you’re feeling more vulnerable or violated, it’s really normal," Alena Schaim, of Solace Crisis Treatment Center, said.

Gonzales’ Executive Director of School Safety and Security Mario Salbidrez also gave a presentation about Santa Fe Public School students’ access to the "Say Something" app on every student’s Chromebook. The app allows students to anonymously report threats or other incidents at the school.

Former Gonzales employee Robert Apodaca was arrested in July and faces up to 45 years in jail for criminal sexual contact with a child under 12 years old. At the time of the alleged abuse in 2019, the child was a student at Gonzales and Apodaca was a health aide at the school.