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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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March 28, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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March 28, 2001
 

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Bulletin Wednesday, March 28, 2001 9A Kellor peers, teachers and others, identified as a team leader who the keys to handling the situa- al situation, prevention is aAnother way to prevent The most noteworthy inci- is prepared to implement a tion would be to emiSloy tac- key to avoiding problems, problems is to take students se- high school student indents have taken place in Col- plan, Hendrick says. tics--the "T" in SWAT. To that end, the department riously when they point out po- Greenville, Portola ororado and, most recently, inIn addition, the departmentIt's not merely about enter- has fostered strong ties with tential problems, Bergstrand started firing a California's Santee and E1 Ca- has a blueprint of each school ing a scene and firing Plumas Unified School District said. the Plumas County jon. and has developed SWAT sce-weapons, Bergstrand said. officials, Gardner said. "We can't take those kids Department would be Locally, law enforcement of-narios for every campus, Hen- Gardner said he recognizes He said he meets on a regu- lightly," Bergstrand said. to handle the situa- ficials investigated a potential drick says. that residents, as well as law lar basis with Superintendent One of the points of interest problem at Portola High "Also, we have what are enforcement, have an aware-Dennis Williams. in the Santee shooting, which like that were School. known as tabletop discus- ness of the potential for school "We have a good working re- resulted in two homicides and everyone in this The Plumas County District sions," he said. violence, lationship," Gardner said. more than a dozen injuries, is be rolling," Sher- Attorney's office is following In the event of an attack, "You can't help but notice," At the same time, the sherif- that adults and students were said. up on the incident. Bergstrand said, the depart- Gardner said. fs department has stepped upaware of the alleged shooter's UndersheriffTerry Hendrick says the sheriffs ment also would notify the The sheriff said media cover- its efforts to integrate a pres- threats and did not take them and Sgt. Gerald department regularly trains county's Emergency Manage- age of the events in Santee and ence in the schools, seriously. recently discussed and prepares for school vio-merit Services agency, elsewhere have contributed to Deputy Bob Shipp was as- Bergstrand said parents can ability to re- lence, as well as workplace vio- The sheriffs department the awareness, signed to the post about a year help foster a safer environ- :to school violence, lence, would be supplemented by Cal- On the other hand, such ago. ment by being involved with years, there have ."We've actually trained for. ifornia Highway Patrol and awareness potentially could re- "Bob Shipp has done an ex- their kids. several incidents in this...type ofincident,"he said. other agencies, Bergstrand suit in copycat incidents, Gard- cellent job" of creating a rela- "They need to pay attention high school students Each community has a mem- said. net said. tionship with students, Gard- to their kids," Bergstrand said. Violently snapped, killing ber of the sheriffs department Bergstrand said that one ofGardner said that, in the ide- net said. i I about potential violence in Plumas have prompted Dis- James Reichle | a school threat assess- calls the team an at- provide "an accurate, comprehensive re- .~ to threats of violence in said the plan is de- to respond to threats or of of violence has appointed Kris ,who is the investiga- "sor for the DA's direct the plan. and Beebe said they work closely with the the sheriffs depart- other key agencies. to the six years has served as Reichle's ations supervisor, is also a former Reno officer and his assignments the Reno Police Depart- Was providing security 1 for the U.S. President dignitaries. Beebe's role will be to inves- tigate and evaluate the school violence threat and then take the appropriate action, Reichle said. The action could range from counseling to conf'mement, de- pending on the seriousness and legitimacy of the threat, Reichle said. During the past week, Reich- le, Beebe and Deputy District Attorney Jeff Cunan have re- searched and documented the most effective means of pre- venting school violence. "We want to turn to a pre- ventative response, as opposed to a reactive response," Reich- le said. The decision to form the team was prompted by a series of student shootings through- out the country, including the recent Santee and E1 Cajon. The DA's office also is driven by concerns about an incident at Portoia High School earlier this month, in which a student allegedly vowed to shoot oth- ers. That incident resulted in a town meeting in Portola last week, in which Beebe and Cu- nan addressed community concerns. By Coates Managing Editor Another week, another school shooting--it begs the question no one wants to ask. What if it happens here? Plumas Unified School Dis- trict (PUSD) Superintendent Dennis Williams says school safety is a topic at every ad- ministrators' meeting. PUSD has an emergency pro- cedure plan which addresses everything from storms to bomb threats to an earth- quake. There is also a plan for an armed intruder or shooting. Three sets of three bells sig- nals that there is an armed in- truder on campus. Anyone near a phone is to call 911. Teachers are to secure their classrooms by locking the door and closing all windows. Stu- dents are to take cover under their desks and remain silent. Lights are to be turned off. Once the 911 call is made, emergency help will be dis- patched. (See related articles about the sheriff, district attor- ney and mental health.) Williams said the school dis- trict has a "generic" plan, but each school site has a more specific plan designed for its campus. "There are challenges to each site," Williams said. "And the school district is doing what it can to make the cam- puses safer." what to do in case of an event, When the school district re- but what to do to prevent it. ceived $5,000 from the state to "We're going to take every improve safety, Williams said threat very seriously," he focused on communication Williams said. "We're going to and scheduled all classrooms send a clear and strong mes- to be equipped with tele- sage that you can't even joke phones. Until now, some class- about it." rooms had no way to commu- Williams said that not only nicate if there was a problem, students, but adults have to be Williams said he is still con- educated. "I cringe every time cerned that some outer build- I hear an adult say, 'I could've ings do not have the bell sys- killed that kid,'" he said. tern to receive a warning of an Of course, Williams said, the armed intruder or other safety threat will be treated different- problem, ly if it comes from a kinder- Safety is discussed at every garten student as opposed to a district administration meet- sixth-grade student. ing, Williams said, not only And, before it even gets to the threat stage, Williams has instructed his administrators and teachers to focus on "bul- lying and teasing." "We're looking for kids who are victims," Williams said. "A common symptom of the kids who are acting out is that they are victims of bullying." While there is a plan to deal with an armed intruder and shooting, Williams said that the administrators, which in- cludes the principals of each site, will continue to discuss the issue and improve the plan. "It's a work in progress," he said. By Debra Coates A transition is underway totion for the new county offi- ManagingEdit0r make Family Support the cial. Judi Mault currently As required by the state, Plumas County Department ofheads the department and re- Plumas County is forming a Child Services. ports to District Attorney new county agency--but this Because the division is al-James Reichle. is one requirement the county ready located in a separate of- Mault presented the transi- is ready for. rice, has its own office equip- tion plan to the board of super- According to its mission ment, and operates under anvisors during its March 20 statement, Family Support independent budget, the tran- meeting. The supervisors corn- "provides child support estab- sition should be smooth andmerited on the thorough pre- lishment and enforcement ser- not costly, sentation and then approved vices to ensure'ooth parents The new agency will no the transitionplan. share the obligation to support longer report to the district at- During the transition, court- their children." Family Sup- torney, but rather to the board ty officials expect no disrup- port has been a division of the of supervisors through the tion of service for their clients. district attorney's office, but county administrative officer. 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