October 30, 2017

Preparation and partnerships: symposium addresses safety in schools

On October 26, members of the University and Redlands and local communities gathered for the second annual County, School, and Campus Safety and Security Symposium to learn about the challenges that regional schools are facing. The symposium was sponsored by the U of R School of Education and Center for Educational Justice in partnership with the Riverside County School Boards Association.

Police chiefs, county supervisors, school board members, and other county personnel spoke on panels and touched on subjects of mental health, community policing, and access to resources.

The first panel, moderated by Redlands Police Sergeant Daniel Marmolejo, tackled questions of safety and security in K–16 settings; the second, moderated by Professor of Education Anne Blankenship Knox, focused on public safety concerns and community issues; the third, moderated by Dean of the U of R School of Education Andrew Wall, addressed how to deal with active incidents and trauma on school grounds. 

Here were some takeaways from the event:

“We want to create sanctuaries for our kids where they are safe to learn and grow.”
—Paul Jessup ’78 ‘83, deputy assistant superintendent for Riverside County Schools.

“If people aren’t trained to identify the existence of trauma or mental health issues in students’ lives, those things will be missed and there will be real consequences.”
—San Bernardino school board member Dr. Scott Wyatt ’07, ‘10

"Counseling teams in alternative programs, such as the STARS (Success Team for At-Risk Students) and HEART (Help, Empower, and Advocate Resilience through Therapy), are working to assist staff and students with mental health care."
—San Bernardino City Unified School Police Chief Joe Paulino       

“With the U of R being a liberal arts university, we encourage different ideas and opinions. Public safety plays an educational role, just as other staff and administrators do on campus. We take a very neutral approach and aim to protect everyone involved, whether it’s a political demonstration or an on-campus event.”
— U of R Director of Public Safety Jeff Talbott 

“Nothing is more effective than training and communication … Training for school staff is an increasingly valuable resource.” 
— Jarrod Burguan ’07, ‘10, chief of the San Bernardino Police Department

“If someone around you doesn’t think a traumatic event can happen in Redlands, you need to tell them that it can. These active incidents often happen in places where we least expect them. Everyone is better off being prepared.”
—Redlands Police Department Chief Mark Garcia