There is heightened fear among students, families, and the community following the tragic shootings taking place with alarming frequency in American schools. I want to assure parents and families that we are doing everything in our power to protect students and staff on our campuses.
Our schools have emergency plans in place for a wide range of situations, from natural disasters to bomb threats, to active shooter situations. We conduct emergency drills multiple times throughout the year and constantly review and revise our emergency plans with assistance from the Glendale Police and County Sheriff’s Departments. All schools are equipped with security gates and cameras, and visitors must sign in and out at every school site. We encourage all families to keep your emergency contact information up to date so we can contact you in an emergency.
If You See Something, Say Something
The GUSD Board and administration are keenly sensitive to the concerns of our students, parents, and community regarding school safety. The solution to school safety extends beyond the walls of our schools and requires a relentless commitment and effort from every stakeholder connected to our students. Please do not stand by – if you “See Something, Say Something.”
Report any suspicious activity to your school or our district staff. You can call your school directly or download the GUSD app and submit an anonymous tip using the app tip line.
We Take Threats Seriously
It is not acceptable for a student or an adult to make violent threats – whether it be on campus, off campus, or on social media. Anyone suspected of making threats should expect to be questioned by school personnel and/or investigated by local law enforcement. The safety of our students and employees will not be compromised. Please reinforce with your students the seriousness of making threats – especially violent threats – at school or toward a student or employee.
How We Support Students Socially and Emotionally
Research shows an increasing need for mental health support for young students, particularly teenagers. Detecting early warning signs and providing immediate interventions for a student who may be in crisis can prevent the student from harming themselves or others. Knowing this, GUSD has trained all secondary teachers and classified staff in identifying early warning signs of suicide and self-harm. Often the warning signs shown by students who may inflict self-harm overlap with those shown by students who may harm others. Any parent or community members wishing to learn how to identify the signs of self-harm or the potential of harming others can view a short video training provided by GUSD Mental Health Services.
GUSD psychologists and school crisis teams are always on call to provide crisis support to students on an individual basis. Additionally, GUSD partners with the Glendale Police Department to provide wellness checks and mental health support to our students. GPD has already met with GUSD psychologists, and is scheduled to meet this week with our special education teacher specialists and coordinators to provide additional mental health training. We want to thank GPD for providing this very important support to our students.
Strong relationships and early detection are our best defense against incidents of violence on our school campuses. Our staff understand the importance of building relationships with students so they feel comfortable speaking to a trusted adult.
Campus Safety Improvements
Thank you to those of you who attended our Community Safety Meetings in March. If you were unable to attend, you can watch videos of the meetings and find answers to community questions on the GUSD website. Since March, our Facilities and Support Operations (FASO) staff have conducted safety walk-throughs of every GUSD campus to identify any areas for improvement. FASO is currently working to ensure all doors have door blocks, and that exterior classrooms have tinted windows and blinds and privacy screens are installed around playgrounds to block view from the street. We are also increasing the number of security cameras on our campuses. These projects will be completed by the start of next school year.
In March, more than 400 GUSD teachers, administrators, and staff participated in active shooter training led by the Glendale Police Department. All remaining school staff will participate in a training this August. Additionally, GUSD is working with law enforcement to streamline access to our campuses during emergency situations, including drafting a Memorandum of Understanding to grant officers direct access to GUSD security cameras to speed up response time in an emergency.
Our schools have emergency plans in place for a wide range of situations, from natural disasters to bomb threats to active shooter situations. We conduct emergency drills multiple times throughout the year and constantly review and revise our emergency plans with assistance from law enforcement. GUSD is currently revising our safety protocols, including a new protocol of waiting for confirmation from school administration before evacuating when a fire alarm is pulled.
All GUSD schools are equipped with security gates and cameras, and visitors must sign in and out at every school site. We encourage all families to keep your emergency contact information up to date so we know we can contact you in an emergency.
Thank you for being a constant partner in ensuring the safety of our students and staff.
Winfred B. Roberson, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools