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School issues

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Tuesday, April 27th, 1999 @ 5:10 AM
Subj: School Safety

I read your email on the South San Jose website. I am truly concerned about your perception of the level of safety at Santa Teresa High School. As principal, I encourage you to inform me as to the bases of your concerns and give suggestions on how to make improvements. A high school is always going to be more circumspect than the elementary and middle schools, which are smaller and easier to monitor and control. Your thinking is probably that there are issues that we have on high school campuses that are not often experienced on feeder school campuses, and you are correct. What is so sad is that any school can be unsafe and that, though school is the safest place for youths other than in the presence of their parents, issues that have traditionally been "high school" are nowbecoming commonplace in the middle schools. It is also sad that we cannot "fix" all the problems before the students get to the high school.

We have a policeman on campus serving as security daily, two campus supervisors, and an associate principal who all deal with unacceptable behavior in and out of the classroom. We have a safety plan, as required by law, that provides for procedure in case of catastrophes and civil unrest of all types. This is a closed campus, as are all East Side Union High School District schools, but we cannot be at every opening around the campus. (We are just as concerned about outsiders coming onto our campus as our students leaving.) We have a Student Family Center that houses offices for a Social Work MST, social work interns, the health clerk, the University Outreach Program and social service agency professionals who come out to counsel students and provide them social services. It offers students who are hutring and in trouble an ear and someone to seek appropriate help for them. It is never enough, though.

May I invite you to come to S. T. and take a walk about? You may have some suggestions on how to fortify the site without making it look like a prison.

I am sincere in my response to you. I have always had great concern for our students' and staff safety and that of my own. Littleton can hapen anywhere and the incident just made us more vigilant about making the campus a safe place for everyone.

Freddie Carr-Stewart
Principal, Santa Teresa High School

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