2019 Juneau Municipal Elections

Student safety

Should the Juneau School District do more to ensure student safety? If so, how?

Should the Juneau School District do more to ensure student safety? If so, how?

  • School Board

    • Deedie Sorensen

      Candidate for School Board

      School safety is more than a metal detector in front of a building. School safety is feeling safe when you’re in school. In Juneau, and all across the country, schools are seeing students with more and more severe, disruptive behaviors and violent behaviors. And given those behaviors, it creates a lack of safety in schools, on playgrounds, in classrooms, in hallways, in the restrooms in bigger schools. It is important that we have a robust conversation and develop a policy that speaks to how we are going to support students who have some of these serious behavior issues.

    • Martin Stepetin Sr.

      Candidate for School Board

      Safety is one of my number one, top priorities. Not just gun safety, and not just doing drills to protect against mass shootings. Those are important, and those should be done, especially these days. We know that’s a very important topic. But also, there’s a couple schools here in the school district that have roads that are not even zoned for school zones, and it’s a very dangerous spot for our students and our children. I know at one of our schools, the site council has been trying to get one of the roads turned into a school zone, so that cars have to slow down and keep our students safe. So many things just like that, we can improve safety in our school district, along with gun safety, violence, bullying, online bullying. Our school district is working on this already, and I would like to see it continue.

    • Bonnie Jensen

      Candidate for School Board

      I don’t know how the school district will be able to do that. I think that would be more of a statewide issue with gun laws. But maybe we can propose legislation or talk to community members or, you know, just have it on the forum for public testimony. But I think that we do need stricter gun laws.

    • Emil Robert Mackey III

      Candidate for School Board

      First of all, yes, the kids need to be as safe as possible in schools. When I was on (the Juneau school board’s) Facilities Committee, one of the things that I championed was making sure that all the keys in all the buildings were standardized, and all the locks were standardized, so that if there was a lockdown situation, our kids would be safe. I believe that’s been implemented, and I think that’s a priority. But I also think that the parents deserve, to also kind of contextualize and understand, that their kids really are safe at school. Less than 1% of kids that are shot are shot at school. More kids are killed by suicide, by their friends, by their family members. When it happens, those things are not in the news; school shootings are. That doesn’t void us of our responsibility to make sure that mass shootings don’t happen in schools. But I also want people to not be unnecessarily fearful of a mass shooting. It is a real threat, but it’s not the biggest threat that our kids suffer. So yes, they need to be safe, but also within the context, we also need to make sure they’re safe in other ways as well.

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