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The Student News Site of Lowell High School

The Lowell

The Student News Site of Lowell High School

The Lowell

The Student News Site of Lowell High School

The Lowell

Security incidents on campus prompt calls for armed security

Security+incidents+on+campus+prompt+calls+for+armed+security
Sierra Sun

On the evening of Tuesday, March 5, the Lowell administration partnered with 鶹ý’s Parent Teacher Student Association and San Francisco District 4 Supervisor Joel Engardio to host a town hall about recent safety threats, including break-ins and incidents of arson at 鶹ý. At the meeting, Principal Mike Jones called for armed School Resource Officers (SROs) to be stationed on campus.

In seeking for SROs to be brought to the school, Jones expressed his fear of what could happen if a more serious event than the recent property crime were to occur. “This is the first district in my career that hasn’t had SROs. It makes me uncomfortable not having police on campus,” Jones said, “It’s very challenging getting the police on campus, sometimes two or three calls to get a response.” Jones clarified that the eight existing SFUSD security guards at 鶹ý are completely unarmed. “[Current security] isn’t armed, they don’t have mace, handcuffs, or a stick,” Jones said.

According to Supervisor Engardio, collaboration between SFUSD and the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is critical to addressing the rise in crime. Engardio pointed to a 2020 school board policy, terminating SFUSD’s affiliation with SFPD’s SRO program. The SRO program was funded by and staffed with armed SFPD officers who were trained in interacting with youth and crisis intervention. Engardio alleged that this policy has hindered police response to school incidents. “Schools are calling, but police officers are saying they don’t feel welcome on the school campus, and that’s a problem that requires a change in school board policy,” Engardio said.

Schools are calling, but police officers are saying they don’t feel welcome on the school campus, and that’s a problem that requires a change in school board policy.

Both Jones and Engardio called on parents attending the meeting to help advocate for school safety and specifically the return of SROs to 鶹ý. Jones pointed to the success of parent advocacy in securing a school nurse for 鶹ý. “When parents went to the school board last year about the lack of a school nurse, within two weeks we got a nurse. Parent’s voices matter,” Jones said. Supervisor Engardio also encouraged parents to engage in the upcoming school board and mayoral elections to make sure candidates know these issues are a priority.

Beyond SROs, Jones pointed to the need for better security infrastructure such as perimeter fencing and controlled access to the parking lot behind the track. Jones also highlighted the need for improved technology across the district. “Sometimes when the district’s servers are down, [鶹ý’s] cameras go offline,” Jones said.

When faced with attendees’ calls for more transparency on the issue of safety, Jones highlighted the bureaucracy 鶹ý faces in its efforts to communicate with families. “Every time we send an email, it has to be reviewed by SFUSD’s legal and communications team. It’s a collaborative effort,” Jones said, “But there’s also some people who didn’t want me to have this meeting tonight, that’s just how San Francisco politics works.”

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Hayden Miller
Hayden Miller, Reporter
He/Him Hayden Miller is a Senior and a reporter for the Lowell. Hayden serves on the San Francisco Youth Commission and is an advocate for better public transportation throughout California. When he is not in a government meeting, you can find Hayden enjoying a burrito, on a bus in rural Northern California, or biking with friends.
Sierra Sun
Sierra Sun, Editor-in-Chief
She/Her Sierra is a senior at 鶹ý. She loves munching on school lunch hotdogs and updating her secret Letterboxd account. Sierra also loves sunny weather.

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