By Brooks Jarosz
A pedestrian bridge in Benicia was demolished Friday causing some parents to fear their children won’t have a safe path to get to school.
The City of Benicia said a commercial truck crashed into the walking bridge over Military West on Tuesday, damaging it beyond repair. It continued to deteriorate and pose a serious safety risk.
Source: Benicia parents fear for children’s safety after pedestrian bridge demolished
Working to protect Californians from the incoming winter storms, Governor Gavin Newsom today proclaimed a state of emergency throughout California to support the ongoing response to recent winter storms.
The emergency proclamation supports emergency relief efforts including authorizing the mobilization of the California National Guard to support disaster response, directing the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) to request immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program to support highway repairs and other support for local response and recovery efforts. The text of today’s proclamation can be found here External link opens in new window or tab.
The Governor has also activated the State Operations Center to its highest level, and the state and federal government have stood up the Flood Operations Center, which covers forecasting, reservoir operations coordination, and provides technical support as well as flood fighting materials like sandbags for local agencies.
Source: State of Emergency Declaration – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
As mass shootings have become more prevalent over the last two decades, police officers everywhere are frequently being trained on how to respond in a way that is fast, safe and responsive to victims and survivors.
That includes in Vacaville.
While the city has not experienced such an incident, officers need to be prepared to respond in the event that a shooting does occur. Thus, the first of two critical incident training exercises was held at Will C. Wood High School Wednesday morning, bringing multiple agencies and volunteers together for a realistic roleplaying scenario.
Source: Critical incident scenario tests Vacaville PD officers – The Vacaville Reporter
By Sharon Pearce
Despite safety remaining an issue at Vallejo schools, the Vallejo 2 X 2 Commission was told at its Wednesday meeting there would be no additional staff or funding coming from the city or the police department.
The 2 X 2 Commission — composed of two representatives from the city and two from the school district tasked to find answers within the city’s school system — heard directly from the school district. Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent William Spalding explained that he had heard concern over safety issues from the public on a number of occasions. He offered suggestions such as closing Nebraska Street between Amador and Broadway streets near Vallejo High School during the day to help the school deal with gunfire and infrastructure problems.
Source: Vallejo Police Department says ‘no’ to schools at 2 X 2 commission meeting – Times-Herald
Solano College Public Safety officers will meet with students, faculty, staff and the public in what is being billed as the first in a series of “Conversations with Solano Community College Department of Public Safety.”
The event will take place from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday in Room 113 of the new library on the rural Fairfield campus, 4000 Suisun Valley Road. To register, send an email to email@example.com. State how many are in your party.
Source: Solano College plans conversation with police personnel
By Barbara Navolanic
The Solano Community College Department of Public Safety has created a Community Partnership Team to help strengthen the relationship between the department and the campus community it serves.
The team will work to educate students, faculty and staff on what to expect from the campus department of public safety officers and how they can work together to build a safer, more inclusive community.
Source: Solano College public safety team designed to strengthen campus ties
That’s what the brand-new Community Partnership Team at Solano College is slated to foster.
A product of SCC’s Department of Public Safety, the team — led by Sgt. Bryant Williams — will work toward building and strengthening ties with those who use the campus.
“Our team will work to educate students on what to expect from their campus department of public safety officers and how we can work together to build a safer and a more inclusive community,” explained Chief Brian Travis in a press statement. “Our officers strive to be guardians of our community and model for the future of campus safety. We recognize that students may come to campus with a variety of different experiences with law enforcement, and we are committed to building a positive relationship with our community.”
Source: New SCC team slated to foster relationships – The Vacaville Reporter
By Matt Miller
Police Officer Joshua Bender said he never expected to get any awards for the work he does in the community.
“I’m just trying to find ways to help others,” he said.
Bender, who spends the bulk of his hours at Grange Middle School, was recently selected as the National School Resource Officer of the Year. The award goes to those who have made significant contributions to their schools and community.
Source: Grange resource officer earns nod as nation’s best
School safety is always a priority, and local leaders want your input on helping to keep local students protected.
On Tuesday, the Solano County Office of Education will welcome parents, guardians, staff and the community in sharing insight on safety plans for Golden Hills Community School in Fairfield, the TC McDaniels Early Education Center in Fairfield and Irene Larsen Center in Vacaville. Come review the plans and provide feedback.
A Zoom meeting will be held from 4-5 p.m. at https://solanocoe.zoom.us/j/96169013289?from=addon#success.
Source: SCOE welcomes input on school safety plans – The Vacaville Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Nearly three years after retiring from local law enforcement, Brian Travis will again don a badge.
This time, the former Solano County Sheriff’s lieutenant and former Solano Community College director of Campus Safety and Security will return to SCC as the head of its new Department of Public Safety.
Travis is set to be sworn in on Feb. 1.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to working hard, to building trust and strengthening trust with the community,” he told The Reporter.
Source: Solano College hires chief for new Dept of Public Safety – The Vacaville Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Jason Johnson has always had a heart for community.
Which is why the Arizona native, who grew up around the world in a military family before settling in Vacaville, served 11 years with the California Highway Patrol and the last nearly 17 with the Vacaville Police Department.
And why the sergeant’s pending retirement this April is bittersweet.
“It’s so rewarding,” he said of his job.
He was 16 when he decided on a life of service. The TV show “CHiPS” portrayed fun and excitement and no report writing.
The Solano County Office of Education is sponsoring a course for educators and public safety on threat assessment, scheduled virtually from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 24 and Jan. 31.
The course will be led by Sgt. Jason Johnson of Campus Safety Consultations. There is no cost to participate in the online sessions.
Recognizing Signs of Targeted Violence is a course designed for the school site professional, administrator, academic counselor or mental health clinician who works directly with students.
Source: Solano County Office of Education announces free threat assessment training
By Richard Bammer
Acknowledging campus tensions among students in recent days, the injury of a female student, questionable social media chatter, misinformation, and assorted rumors, Vacaville High Principal Adam Wight, in a Thursday letter to VHS parents, wrote: “This evening I ask that each of us take a moment and talk with our children about the importance of maintaining a safe and positive school environment.”
The Vacaville Police Department deferred comment on the situation at the West Monte Vista Avenue campus, with Sgt. Katie Cardona telling The Reporter that all inquiries should be directed to Wight or Elaine Kong, Vacaville Unified’s public information officer.
Wight confirmed a female student had been injured on campus last week but did not describe the nature of her injuries.
Source: In wake of student violence, VHS principal urges frank talk about keeping campus ‘safe, positive’ – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
How schools plan to responds to any emergency situation on campus will be just one topic presented at Thursday’s Dixon school board meeting.
By law, schools are required to submit safety plans to ensure that their campuses are prepared for emergencies that may arise on campus. The California Department of Education has a checklist that schools are required to meet.
The safety plan that was included in the agenda packet for Thursday’s meeting was the emergency operations plan for Dixon Unified School District’s three elementary schools, although the middle and high schools have their individual plans as well.
Source: Dixon school board to discuss site emergency response plans – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun school board is expected to adopt updates to the district’s Covid-19 plan when trustees gather Thursday.
The updates are required by law.
Every local education agency, such as a school district, during the 2020-2021 school year was required to develop a Covid-19 Safety Plan.
That plans for the past eight months has consisted of two components: a Covid-19 Prevention Program, based on Cal/OSHA regulations, and a Covid-19 School Guidance Checklist.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees set to update Covid Safety Plan
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today convened a hearing that took a comprehensive look at the role of police officers in schools and the impact that law enforcement presence has on students, learning, and campus safety. The hearing was a three-part panel discussion that examined: different models of school policing, research and data on the impact and consequences of police officers in schools, and a framework for potential policy recommendations for reimagining school safety.
An archived broadcast of today’s hearing can be found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab.
As many school districts re-examine the role and impacts of police on their campuses, Tuesday’s Task Force on Safe Schools hearing was the first step to address these issues on a statewide level and within the context of equity and racial justice.
Source: Task Force on Safe Schools Address School Reform – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)
BY Richard Freedman
In the wake of George Floyd’s death and magnifying glass-like scrutiny of law enforcement, many school districts across the country debate whether to eliminate police officers on campus.
In Vallejo, school superintendent Dr. Adam Clark believes it’s a bad move — at least here.
“I’ve watched closely … two sides to the argument … and I get both sides,” Clark said. “But we’ve had a wonderful relationship with the VPD. They’ve been very supportive. I don’t feel they’ve overstepped their boundary in any way and we work collaboratively to meet the needs of our community. I believe we have the same goals for our students.”
Source: Vallejo superintendent: Resource officers much needed – Times-Herald
By Glen Faison
Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara declared an emergency Tuesday and imposed a two-day curfew that will initially start at 8 p.m. Tuesday and end at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
It will begin again at 8 p.m. Wednesday and continue until 5 a.m. Thursday.
The curfew was announced after the Board of Supervisors took part in a closed session. County buildings, as a result of the public safety emergency, will be open to the public by appointment only starting at noon Tuesday.
Source: Solano sheriff declares emergency; imposes curfew
BY Shawna De La Rosa
An analysis by The New York Times found 153 Instagram accounts, several Twitter accounts and chats, and active Reddit message boards where thousands of users share meeting passwords to plan Zoom attacks. Sometimes, attacks are carried out by the students themselves, who have piles of homework with no other activity or outlet during self-isolation. Zoombombing can be a way for these students to rebel against the new system.
But school cybersecurity was a challenge long before the pandemic began. Schools and ed tech platforms have been increasingly vulnerable targets in recent years. Now that many schools are completely relying on educational technology to deliver lessons, educators should proceed with additional caution when vetting new software, ensuring that any user agreements fully protect student information and comply with FERPA laws. District administrators should also ensure parents know how to protect their students’ personal information.
Source: Amid online transition, schools experience another cyberthreat: ‘Zoombombing’ | Education Dive
By Anya Kamenetz
Ryan Pascal, a 17-year-old student at Palos Verdes High School near Los Angeles, says when her school holds active shooter drills, it’s “chaos.” The first time it happened, not long after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in 2018, rumors started flying over Snapchat and text that the school was really under attack.
“We had some students trying to stack up desks to blockade the door. We had some students sort of joking around because they weren’t sure how to handle this. There are other students who are very, very afraid.”
On top of all the other stresses of high school, she says, some students are now on constant alert: “When the little bell before an announcement happens, or when the fire alarm goes off, you can see this fear in students’ faces as they wonder, is this going to be a lockdown? Is this a drill? What’s happening? There’s so much anxiety just by a little trigger like that.”
Source: 2 Big Teachers Unions Call For Rethinking Student Involvement In Lockdown Drills – KQED