Safety was on the minds of parents and teachers, as the Coachella Valley Unified School District discussed security measures on campuses.
“How do we not focus solely on safety, but on the climate and culture of our school?" Superintendent Dr. Luis Valentino addressed the issue after months of recent lockdowns.
Two of them happened most recently at Coachella Valley High School back in March.
“School safety has been around for several months now, almost since the beginning of the school year, not only safety across our school district, but specifically Coachella Valley High School," said Valentino.
It was the center of discussion for the board during a roundtable on Thursday.
In February, Hundreds of students at Coachella Valley High School walked out of class in protest of a lack of safety measures.
Students expressed concerns about how the district was providing for safety. They mentioned multiple incidents where they felt unsafe.
In March, parents and students connected to CVUSD shared their lack of confidence in the district to keep their children safe. "As parents, we live in fear thinking that our child might not come back at night," said parent Elizabeth Tabarez.
Board member Silvia Paz asked her colleagues what the district's values are. “One of our values is safety, and I see it all over our campuses right? What does that even look like? What makes you feel safe?”
Members debated about which measures are working, and which should be implemented.
Topics that were discussed.
- Backpack Inspections.
- Campus cameras.
- Campus Security Assistants.
- Canine Detection Services.
- Classroom Door Lock Guidelines.
- Communication Radios.
- Cooperation with Local Law Enforcement.
- Door ringers with cameras for the Office.
- Employee Training.
- School Threat Assessment Teams.
- Staff & Student Preparedness Drills.
- Student IDs (campus).
- Student Vehicle Registration.
- Temporary Protective Fencing.
- Threat Reporting (Online & In Person).
- Visitor Control Systems (Raptor: VMS & EMS)
- Additional Safety Options: Metal Detectors
Valentino said one of the most recent measures implemented were backpack checks.
“So we've put measures in place as a result of guns on campus, other weapons on campus. But it doesn't mean that we implemented them knowing what the long term solution is," he said.
Valentino tells us incidents have dropped on campus since it was implemented.
However, most of the board took issue with the backpack checks. They believed it delays students from getting to class on time and allows prohibited items to be hidden elsewhere.
Board member Jesus Gonzalez questioned the use of backpack checks during the summer. “As it gets hotter and we get closer to the end of the year, are we gonna continue to check backpacks?And if we are, what does that look like? Are we gonna allow kids to get to class on time in the morning? And leave them waiting as it gets hotter?”
No decisions were made during Thursday’s meeting.
The board saying discussing this information allows them to figure out which actions will come next.