Supervisor Jim Desmond
While the County of San Diego doesn't have jurisdiction when it comes to schools, I cannot sit idly by as we see the horrific school shootings occurring in our country.
Over the past two weeks, I've received dozens of emails from concerned parents wondering if their child is safe in the classroom. My daughter teaches second grade in North County, and school safety is at the front of mind for all of us.
Sadly, San Diego County has not been immune to school shootings. Over forty years ago, Grover Cleveland Elementary school was attacked and over two decades ago, Santana and Granite Hills High Schools were the targets of mass shootings. Most recently Kelly Elementary in Carlsbad experienced a terrifying incident.
Schools are required to restrict access to campuses. This is a critical element to "harden" schools that will reduce the likelihood of an attack. Unfortunately, not all school districts have the resources to do what is necessary to keep children safer.
For example, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Fallbrook Substation Lieutenant contacted my office and asked that we look into providing a fence around one of their schools. Through my District 5 grant program, we awarded $125K to purchase and install a fence and entry door at the elementary school in North County.
Sadly, not all school districts have the personnel to apply for and administer grants. At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, I asked my colleagues to support my board letter seeking to assist local districts with making our schools safer. I'm pleased to say the item passed.
The county will now work with school districts to determine campus needs for school safety, hardening efforts, and school safety personnel then report back to the board with recommendations on opportunities for the county to partner and assist.
Safe schools are essential to maintaining the well-being of students throughout San Diego County. We must be looking at all the ways we can protect our kids with a safe learning environment.