Laura Sandeen | Transparency on School Safety

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Re: Editorial published Feb 11, “Campus Crisis: Break Out the Broom.” The answer is likely NO. No, your kid’s school is not likely safe from similar student behaviors. I am a retired instructional assistant. Most elementary schools currently have students who escalate emotionally, then proceed to exhibit acting-out behaviors. I agree that it is an issue that should be addressed by parents and school boards. 

Many years ago, the Santa Clarita Valley school districts would train their staff in “nonviolent crisis intervention,” also known as CPI training. When a large number of staff members are certified with a CPI Blue Card, each campus would have a “team approach” to handle disruptive and/or assaultive behavior. My observation over the years was that less and less trainings were available to staff members. 

A valid question to ask the Saugus Union School District (or any other district): “Which staff members holds CPI Blue Cards on each campus? What is the ratio based on enrollment numbers?” 

Regarding suspension: My understanding is that suspensions are reported to the state. Suspensions are tallied for each school and district. These discipline files may be perceived as a “bad grade” to the district. Also, some students may misbehave because they do not want to be at school — so suspensions become a reward to those students. 

I know of several instructional assistants who have been injured by students. Some went out on disability leave, unable to return to the workplace. 

Please, keep the conversations going for solutions and transparency for our ALL our students and staff in the SCV. 

 Laura Sandeen

Canyon Country

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