Keenan Blog

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Safe Schools: The Whole Community Plays a Part

Kathy Espinoza 5/16/2017
Kathy Espinoza

Keenan is proud and excited to be part of the upcoming 8th Annual Safe Schools Conference, July 19-21 in Orange County. We encourage our colleagues in education, law enforcement, health care and local government to learn about the critical challenges faced by our schools and the direct link between school safety, learning, attendance, and higher test scores.

“Creating and sustaining a safe and nurturing environment are both paramount to the success of our students, sites, districts, and communities,” according to Dave Long, Ph.D., creator and facilitator of the Safe Schools Conference. “This should be our number one priority. With safety in place we can create and carry out our other tasks related to education and the community.” Dr. Long is a former teacher, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, served as California Secretary of Education under Governor Schwarzenegger, whose experience includes dealing directly with an active shooter incident at one of his school sites.

Providing for the safety of children in our schools goes well beyond just the educational institutions. The entire community – from the families, law enforcement, to local government – plays a role in preventing and responding to incidents of school violence. To provide a forum for broader interaction among community stakeholders, Dr. Long started the Safe Schools Conference in 2010.

The Safe Schools Conference now averages over 550 participants each year from the education and law enforcement communities. It has expanded into a three-day conference with 48 workshops, three general session speakers, and three pre-conference sessions. Dr. Long explains that, “these days, we have to be concerned about issues surrounding bullying and cyberbullying and certainly school shootings perpetrated both by individuals within the school as well as by invaders. We are paying greater attention to things like mental health awareness and identification factors, interagency cooperation and communication, liability and the law, and facility planning that improves safety and security.”

On Wednesday, July 19, Keenan will be presenting one of the workshops, entitled “Sexual Abuse in Schools-How do we make it stop?” This session focuses on preventing abuse before it happens. Attendees will be provided with some tools, knowledge and understanding of grooming behaviors to empower employees to take action.

For more information about the 2017 Safe Schools Conference and to register, please visit www.safeschoolsconference.com