RESPONSE FROM LA HONDA-PESCADERO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
We have received the report of the Grand Jury filed June 27, 2001 relating to Public High School Safety Preparedness and appreciate your concern for the safety of our students. We agree strongly that the safety of the young people entrusted to our care at all grade levels is of primary importance, and we have taken measures throughout our district to prevent school violence and to ensure that proper procedures are in place should any acts of violence occur.
Our high school is small and in a relatively isolated rural area. Our four full-time teachers and four additional part-time teachers know all of our 65 students individually, and know them well. The atmosphere at the school is calm and students feel safe. The school atmosphere fosters a focus on teaching and learning.
Our goal is to prevent violence among our students and teach them strategies for solving problems and resolving disagreements peacefully. To that end, we have enacted several preventative measures. Our staff and students have been trained in Peer Conflict Resolution, and student mediators work with their peers to resolve conflicts at the site. We are the recipients of a Healthy Start grant that has provided us with counseling and mental health services to augment regular counseling supported by School Safety funds at the high school. County Mental Health provides services, and we have both a probation officer and a school resource officer assigned to our school.
The district has an emergency action plan that includes school violence response procedures that are reviewed and updated periodically. I will be attending an Operation Lockdown this fall to ensure that additional safety procedures are implemented if needed. The district has policies and procedures in place related to the safety of all people on our campuses. We have had no incidents of threats to staff, nor reason to believe that students are bringing weapons of any kind to campus. We believe strongly that our schools are safe places for our students.
Rest assured that we are very cognizant of our responsibilities for the safety of our students. We are members of a small community, and many of our students are children of our staff. We are doing all we can to be sure that all our students are safe on our campuses.