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Review of California School Safety Urged in Wake of Newtown Tragedy

Following the Connecticut school massacre, a joint message from California's schools chief and top homeland security advisor urges school superintendents to review security measures and to remind staff and parents to be alert and prepared.

Following the tragic elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., California's education chief and its top homeland security official sent a joint message to school superintendents across the state emphasizing the importance of reviewing school safey procedures and being prepared.

The message sent Saturday by Tom Torlakson, state Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Mark Ghilarducci, Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, acknowledged the "overwhelming grief that we are all feeling after the horrific tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut," and expressed their desire "to reassure everyone in our education community that the safety of our students and staff remains our highest priority."

The message, attached to this article, was sent to county and district school superintendents and to charter school administrators.

"It’s important for all of us to take another close look at the safety plans and security procedures we have in place to reduce the risks on our school campuses and in our workplaces," said Torlakson and Ghilarducci, who serves also as the Governor's Homeland Security Advisor.

"We are writing you today to emphasize the importance of taking the time to talk with your staff and leadership about school safety in light of this tragic event," the message said. "Whether it’s a review of your security procedures or special outreach to teachers, parents and staff, any steps you can take now to be prepared for any emergency are extremely important. Some of the most heinous plots to do harm to our schools and communities have been thwarted by the simple actions of alert and preparedindividuals."

The message referred local school officials to resources compiled by the state Emergency Management Agency, accessible at http://bit.ly/schoolsafe or www.calema.ca.gov.

Giorgio C. December 16, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The WCCUSD cut the staffing or funding for drop-off parking detail, even after a woman with a gun attempted to run down individuals in the parking lot. Days later, I visited the school, walked around the lot, and no one asked me any questions. I was not with a child. I was standing and observing. After a major incident. The problem is that many do not want to pay for the staffing necessary to protect our children. Perhaps that will change after the passage of the recent parcel tax.
John Stashik December 16, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Not that people don't want to pay. More like people do not have the extra money to pay. Higher wage jobs are the answer.
Giorgio C. December 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
You're correct. Poorly worded on my part. There are those who do not want to pay the additional cost, but there are many more who honestly cannot because they lost their job, have taken pay cuts, etc. A "no" vote for a tax increase does not mean one does not support education. It very well might mean they simply are unable to do so which is why I support the 2/3 requirement for passage of parcel tax votes.
Jessica Gardner December 16, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Read the report 30 percent of junior high and high scholars are victimized at school School is a breeding ground for these people
Jessica Gardner December 16, 2012 at 09:03 PM
And this is the local report done in 2011
Kevin Peterson December 17, 2012 at 07:27 AM
The EMA says whether it’s a review of security procedures or special outreach to teachers, parents and staff, any steps taken now for any emergency are extremely important. http://www.schoolanduniversity.com The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) has compiled a range of resources from the federal, state and local level to help.

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