January 16, 2008 > School site councils discuss safety and security
School site councils discuss safety and security
Submitted By Rick LaPlante
Student safety and school-site security will be the primary topic of discussion at the January meetings of all School Site Councils in the New Haven Unified School District, following the recent shooting death of a James Logan High School freshman outside Barnard-White Middle School.
Vernon Matthew Eddins, 14, a former Barnard-White student, was shot and killed Dec. 21, about a half-hour after school was dismissed on the final day before winter recess. New Haven students returned to school Monday for the first time since the shooting.
In the wake of the tragedy, grief counseling is being made available at Logan and Barnard-White, as well as at Conley-Caraballo High School. The Union City Police Department has extra officers at all three schools this week, and extra officers will remain on duty at both Logan and Conley-Caraballo through at least the end of next week. An extra officer also will be assigned to Barnard-White as necessary.
"While we address the immediate concerns stemming from this horrible event, we also want to consider long-term needs for safety and security," New Haven Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi said. "We need input from parents and the community to help us make these decisions, and the School Site Councils provide a ready forum for those discussions."
Each New Haven school has a School Site Council, a group of parents and staff members who meet monthly to discuss matters that directly affect the education program at the site. Voting members are elected annually, but any interested person may attend SSC meetings.
"We are encouraging people who have concerns about safety and security, and especially people who have ideas that we might consider, to attend this month's meetings," Dr. Jaurequi said.
The first of those meetings took place on Thursday, Jan. 10, at Alvarado and Cesar Chavez Middle Schools. The next set of meetings will be on Thursday, Jan. 17, at James Logan High School, Bernard-White Middle School, and Conley-Caraballo High School.
Anyone with information about the shooting death of Vernon Eddins is urged to call the Union City Police Department, which has set up a dedicated line for callers, including anonymous callers: (510) 675-5207.
The complete schedule of meetings:
Thursday, Jan 17
James Logan High School
1800 H. St., Union City
Barnard-White Middle School
725 Whipple Rd., Union City
Conley-Caraballo High School
541 Blanche St., Hayward
Wednesday, Jan 23
Searles Elementary School
33629 15th St., Union City
Emanuele Elementary School
100 Decoto Rd., Union City
Kitayama Elementary School
1959 Sunsprite Dr., Union City
Eastin Elementary School
34901 Eastin Dr., Union City
Alvarado Elementary School
31100 Fredi St., Union City
Hillview Crest Elementary School
31410 Wheelon Ave., Hayward
Wednesday, Jan 30
Pioneer Elementary School
32737 Bel Aire St., Union City