Los Angeles—City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced the formation of the Los Angeles School Safety Blue Ribbon Panel, which will hold a series of public hearings in the Spring, and issue a report this Summer that will offer recommendations on additional steps to keep kids safe in L.A. schools.
"Nothing is more important than keeping our kids safe and secure," said Feuer, co-chair of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence. "Now is the time to take a fresh, focused look at how we are doing and how can we do it better. This panel will hear from all our stakeholders—including students, parents, teachers, administrators—along with experts in a variety of fields, to fashion recommendations to improve safety on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods."
Among the panel’s members are:
Laura Chick (MSW), former Los Angeles City Controller
Carlos Moreno, former California Supreme Court Justice
Earl Paysinger, former LAPD First Assistant Chief; current Vice-President of Civic Engagement, USC
Benjamin Holtzman, Student Member of the LAUSD Board
Julia Macias, President, LAUSD Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council
Jessica Lall, President and CEO of the Central City Association
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Dean and Professor at Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine
Kelvin Sauls, Pastor, Holman United Methodist Church
Antonia Hernandez, President and Chief Executive Officer - California Community Foundation
Greig Smith, former Los Angeles City Councilmember and LAPD Reserve Officer
Garen Wintemute, Director, University of California Firearm Policy Research Center
Gloria Martinez, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) Elementary Vice President
Daniel Barnhart, UTLA Secondary Vice President
Representative from Los Angeles School Police
Feuer, who will chair the group, announced the panel will hold hearings throughout Los Angeles, in conjunction with LAUSD board members. Some of the areas to be discussed include: Safe storage of firearms;
Improved public reporting systems for suspicious persons;
Heightened campus security;
Increased mental health resources for students;
Improved safety for students traveling back and forth from home to campus.
In addition to hearing from parents, teachers, administrators, students and community members the panel will receive testimony from a variety of areas including public safety, education, mental health and business.
Improved safety for students traveling back and forth from home to campus
Feuer, whose children attended LAUSD schools, created a Neighborhood School Safety Program in his office. The Program, which is currently in 120 schools, focuses on a wide range of strategies, from improving campus lighting and tackling neighborhood blight to key prosecutions and parent education on health and safety issues. The schools located in the most under-served communities are treated with priority. The Program is based on a collaboration that includes Neighborhood Safety Prosecutors, LAPD area captains, LA School Police Command and school-site leaders.
Feuer has an extensive history of leadership on gun violence prevention. He is the author of numerous local and state measures targeting gun violence, and established a Gun Violence Prevention Unit in the City Attorney’s office. Feuer is the co-founder and co-chair of the national coalition Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, has published multiple opinion pieces on gun violence in leading newspapers and delivered presentations across the nation on the issue, including at the White House.