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Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin Unveil New School Safety Tool

Monday, April 17, 2000
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(WEST SACRAMENTO, CA) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin today unveiled a new tool, the Crisis Response Box, developed to help every California school prepare for quick and effective responses to a critical incident on campus.

"The safety of our students on campus requires schools to be prepared for a critical incident," Lockyer said. "This new safety tool should spur early interaction by school officials, law enforcement and emergency response agencies. By springing to action before a major incident on campus, schools should be better able to respond effectively to a crisis, and hopefully, prevent future tragedies."

Eastin added: "The crisis response box is a valuable tool to help schools and their community partners plan for and practice emergency procedures for any traumatic event that might disrupt the school learning environment. The components of the tool kit reflect the advice we've received from our safe schools task force members as well as the response regional trainings and simulations that we're conducting throughout the state."

The Crisis Response Box was developed by the Attorney General and Superintendent's Safe Schools Task Force and is the result of interviews with law enforcement and school officials from throughout the country, including many who have experienced major school shootings and other critical incidents on their campuses. While most schools in California have developed school safety plans, the task force discovered that there wasn't an integrated system in place to ensure that a coordinated and effective response to a serious incident on a school campus occurs.

In order to establish a Crisis Response Box, school officials, local law enforcement and other emergency agencies must work together to compile 20 recommended items. These early discussions could lead to additional items being developed to meet the needs of a particular campus. Among the innovative elements of the Crisis Response Box are instructions for disabling utilities that can hinder the safe evacuation of students and techniques to help emergency responders rapidly locate and assist injured persons.

The Crisis Response Box guide will be mailed to all 8,331 California elementary, middle and high schools in May. The guide is available on the Attorney General's web site.

The Crisis Response Box is the latest effort by the Attorney General and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to promote safe school campuses. The Safe Schools Task Force was established last year, two months before the tragedy at Columbine High School in Colorado, by the Attorney General and Superintendent of Public Instruction to evaluate existing school safety programs and recommend new strategies, including improved partnerships between law enforcement and schools. The task force report is scheduled for release later this month. Earlier this month, Attorney General Lockyer released a survey on the use of law enforcement on school campuses. Among its findings, the survey found that 63% of California's high schools and 39% of middle schools utilize a peace officer on their campus at least part-time.

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