The Coachella Valley Unified School District board of education addressed some security concerns on district campuses. This comes after our in-depth investigation last week into fights on CVUSD campuses.
"As you know, we haven't had any fights lately, so the report that came out with KESQ was terrible and it was old fights that happened, but they have happened and we cannot minimize that. And yes, the teachers do need support. and I wish they would be confident enough to come up and say," said Board president Blanca Hall.
CVUSD board members did say that they see fights on campus, but that the district is no different than other valley districts.
They also shut down any rumors that the district would bring police back onto campus, confirming they have no plans to do that.
“I really believe that school discipline issues need to be dealt with within the school,” said Board Trustee, Silvia Paz.
She believes security isn’t the answer to preventing violence on campus. “You are not going to get a reduction in violence by being rude or disrespectful, or forceful, you might be able to prevent something of maybe a fight that's happening right in front of you at that moment. But it doesn't create the long term change that we want to see.”
However, Board Trustee Trinidad Arredondo thinks there’s nothing wrong with have law enforcement on campuses.
But moving forward, “I really want to bring mentors onto our campus that are from the community, that can support our students and check-in with them,” said Arredondo.
There was some discussion about hiring additional security, however, with the restorative justice policy the district has adopted. It means working with the students to resolve underlying issues.
"It's about doing things in a different way and engaging the students and it's being part and agents of the solutions,” Paz said.
She has proposed the creation a board committee that will focus on school safety. “What are the things that we can start doing now to improve the school climate? And not only talking about discipline, but you know, the many other ways in which we communicate whether a space is a comfortable and safe space for us.”
And as for the fights we’ve reported on- "Those fights happened. But that is not who our community is. And that is not who our students are," Paz added, "I continue to see students who are respectful, friendly, saying hi, it feels like a light and positive environment.“