The Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety
Following the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer assembled a Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety, charged with examining, evaluating and recommending ways to enhance the significant efforts by LAUSD to keep students safe from violence, particularly gun violence, both in schools and surrounding neighborhoods. This is the final report and 33 recommendations. (PDF)
Members of the Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety
In addition to his National Board Certification in science, 13 years in the classroom and six years working on professional development initiatives for teachers, Daniel Barnhart serves as Secondary Vice President of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). As a school leader, he has served as a peer mentoring sponsor, varsity boys’ basketball and volleyball coach, mentor teacher, School Site Council member, Local School Leadership Council chair and technology coordinator.
LAURA N. CHICK
Former California Inspector General and the first woman to hold citywide elected office as Los Angeles City Controller, Laura Chick was called “downtown’s lone champion of good government” by the LA Daily News. As Controller, she was the Chief Auditor and Chief Accountant of the City working to ensure our city’s fiscal health. Laura received her Master of Social Work (MSW) from USC.
Celebrating thirty years of service with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Juan A. Flecha has distinguished himself in numerous capacities including: as Teacher; Dean of Students; Bilingual Program Adviser; Assistant Principal, Secondary Student Services, and many others. As President of the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, he upholds and defends the association’s contract with integrity and provides sound stewardship for the association’s fiscal viability.
Nationally regarded for a career spanning four decades in social justice, civil rights and philanthropy, and a lifelong devotion to underserved communities throughout Los Angeles, Antonia Hernández is the President and CEO of the California Community Foundation. Previously, she served as President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund – MALDEF – the national nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the civil rights of the nation’s Latinos through the legal system, community education and policy initiatives.
Joey Hernández is the Policy and Mobilization Manager for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where they manage the Center's mobilization efforts to protect and expand the rights of the LGBT community along with managing the Center's child welfare and youth housing policy advocacy efforts. Joey has dedicated nearly a decade on grassroots organizing and mobilizing of LGBTQ youth, supportive educational staff, and parents to bring change to school communities. Joey comes to the LA LGBT Center from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), where they engaged in organizing, policy work and lobbying on LGBT rights, education equity, criminal justice reform, HIV discrimination, immigration reform, and economic justice. In their first year at the ACLU SoCal, Joey developed and executed a public education campaign that educated over 10,000 community members about the rights of LGBTQ students. They have worked on California legislation to ensure the rights of transgender and non-binary students in public schools, mandate LGBTQ-inclusive comprehensive sexual health education, reform discriminatory student discipline processes, and expand protections for LGBT immigrant communities. Joey has also organized with over a thousand volunteers to stop the federal administration's attack on the Affordable Care Act and other life-saving social services funded by the federal government.
The Student Member of the Board at LAUSD, Ben Holtzman is a senior at Hamilton High School where his passion for politics and community engagement began. He has been a member of the state-wide Youth and Government Program for three years, where he was elected Secretary of State. He also works closely with the Brady Campaign in Los Angeles adding the student perspective to gun violence prevention efforts.
President and CEO for the Central City Association (CCA), Jessica Lall represents the interests of 400 businesses, trade associations and nonprofits employing 350,000 people throughout Los Angeles County. Before joining CCA, she served as Executive Director for the South Park Business Improvement District in downtown. In addition to CORO Southern California and LA2024, Jessica serves on the Board of Directors for Metro Charter Elementary School.
A senior at Grover Cleveland Charter High School – CORE Humanities Magnet, and President of the LAUSD Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, Julia Macias is a champion of student empowerment. Since her freshman year, she has served on a variety of boards and is extremely passionate about political and social issues, race, gender constructs and gun control. She is currently on the board of her school’s Gay and Sexuality Alliance, has spoken at LAUSD’s Women of Color conference and balances her ideas on gun violence prevention and school safety with ensuring that all students have a chance at a quality education.
A National Board Certified Teacher in Special Needs, Gloria Martinez has been teaching for 16 years and serves as Elementary Vice President for United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), which represents teachers and support staff throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District and is focused on doing what’s best for kids. She has credentials in both general and special education.
JUSTICE CARLOS MORENO
Justice Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.) is a distinguished former jurist in California. For over twenty-five years he served at all levels of the state and federal judicial systems in California, including four years as a federal district court judge and ten years as a justice on the California Supreme Court. Justice Moreno also served as U.S. Ambassador to Belize under appointment by President Barack Obama and is currently affiliated with JAMS, the nationally-recognized mediation and arbitration service.
EARL C. PAYSINGER
Vice President of Civic Engagement at USC, Earl Paysinger provides strategic leadership helping to connect the university to communities throughout Los Angeles. For four decades, he served LAPD with distinction, most recently as First Assistant Chief and concurrently as Director for the Office of Special Operations. He has a deep knowledge of our city’s neighborhoods, strong relationships with our residents and a dedication to youth development. (Note - Mr. Paysinger passed away in December, 2019).
Michael Pinto, AIA (The American Institute of Architects) is an architect, educator and community activist who has been steadfast in exploring high design in response to specific, real community need – particularly within disadvantaged communities and at-risk youth populations. As Design Principal at NAC Architecture, his award-winning work has focused on the public realm – leading design for schools, child care centers, libraries, parks, community centers and housing.
DR. DEBORAH PROTHROW-STITH
Internationally recognized public health leader, Dr. Prothrow-Stith is Dean and Professor of Medicine for the College of Medicine at Charles R. Drew University and adjunct Professor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. As a physician working in inner-city Boston, she broke new ground with her efforts to define youth violence as a public health problem. She served as the Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Public Health Practice and Associate Dean for Diversity at the Harvard School of Public Health and more recently advised top-tier healthcare and academic institutions on leadership as principal in the executive search firm, Spencer Stuart.
A Parent Leader at Garvanza Elementary School and PTA Vice President, Rocio Ramirez holds a Multiple-Subject teaching credential and a Master of Education degree. Her commitment to empowering Los Angeles families and children has inspired her current project, creating school workbooks that help strengthen the home-school connection and teach children about self-reliance and relationship-building. Inspired by her experiences as an elementary school teacher and parent, she continues to apply her strengths to our community by joining LAUSD and policy-makers in supporting school safety and academic excellence.
REVEREND KELVIN SAULS
Since 2012, Reverend Kelvin Sauls has served as Senior Pastor for Holman United Methodist Church. A bridge-builder for cross-cultural and racially diverse communities, he has served both local churches and general agencies within the United Methodist Church and has provided leadership to numerous congregations across the nation. Reverend Sauls is also highly involved with a variety of community justice initiatives.
A thirty-two-year employee of the Los Angeles City Council, Greig Smith also served two terms as an elected member. He is a 25-year Reserve Officer with LAPD and currently is the only Reserve Officer ever certified to be a lead Detective in the elite Robbery-Homicide Cold Case unit. He was the first Reserve Officer to successfully solve a 17 year old murder case, make an arrest and get a conviction in the case. Currently he is a Senior Partner in the Coachella Valley Medical Center which specializes in rehabilitating homeless patients for the Counties of Riverside and Los Angeles.
As Education Policy Manager at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Krystal oversees the national OUT for Safe Schools™ campaign – a district effort to support school staff to come out as safe and supportive allies to LGBTQ students. She is a current fellow at the Women's Foundation of California, Women’s Policy Institute where she focuses on reproductive justice issues. Krystal earned her Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Communication Studies at UCLA.
DR. GAREN WINTEMUTE
Emergency physician at UC Davis Medical Center, Dr. Garen Wintemute also leads the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, the first state-funded gun violence research facility in the country. Named a “hero of medicine” by Time Magazine, he is a nationally recognized expert on gun violence and a pioneer in the field of injury epidemiology and prevention.
MARLEEN WONG, PhD
Associate dean and clinical professor, Marleen Wong, PhD, serves as director of field education at the USC School of Social Work. She is one of the original developers of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) and formerly was the director of mental health services, crisis intervention and suicide prevention at LAUSD. The White House has called her one of the "pre-eminent experts in school crisis and recovery" and the Wall Street Journal says she is the "architect of school safety programs."
CHIEF STEVEN ZIPPERMAN
A proud Los Angeles native and graduate of Taft High School, Chief Steven Zipperman is Chief of the Los Angeles School Police Department, following 32 years of service to LAPD. He is responsible for the oversight of 350 sworn officers and 130 school safety officers and polices 1,100 schools attended by over one-million students. Chief Zipperman holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and is a member of various professional school safety and police organizations.
Minutes from the Meetings
with LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin
Overview of the Blue Ribbon Panel and of school safety initiatives already utilized by LAUSD
with LAUSD Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic
Isolated Children: School Mental Health Resources, Anti-Bullying Initiatives and Restorative Justice
with LAUSD Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III
Effects of Children’s Exposure to Violence Off-Campus: Violence in the Home and Community
Keeping Students Safe from Threats Surrounding Schools
with LAUSD Board Member Scott Mark Schmerelson
Preventing Access to Guns and Investigating Threats of Violence
Making School Campuses Safer through Preventative and Responsive Safety Procedures
with LAUSD Board President Mónica García
Making School Campuses Safer through Design and Infrastructure.