District and School Safety
TVUSD Response Plan
It's important for you to know first and foremost that there are districtwide protocols that call for any conversation, rumor, threat, that is reported to school administration to be dealt with immediately with the appropriate authorities. While the processes of an investigation may seem complex, they are handled expeditiously and with top priority. Students, unfortunately, sometimes make poor choices and use language in discussions that cause concern. While there may not be any intention of harm behind the discussions, in today's climate of concern, we don't take chances and every issue or concern that is brought to the attention of the appropriate individuals is responded to, immediately.
Temecula Police Department's Role with TVUSD
The Temecula Police Department and the Temecula Valley Unified School District are absolutely committed to keeping our children safe, and we work together very closely for that purpose. There are site-specific response plans in place, at each school site, to deal with any sort of threat to our children’s safety. There are also county-wide protocols we follow whenever a potential threat or act of violence is discovered by school staff or law enforcement.
One such policy is the “Kids with Guns Protocol,” which is a multi-agency agreement purposed for responding to and preventing school threats utilizing every available resource. Generally initialized by law enforcement, this procedure is not limited to threats involving firearms. It is followed whenever any threat or potential threat of physical violence at a school site is discovered.
When a potential threat is discovered, law enforcement immediately initiates a criminal investigation involving both patrol-level first responders and detectives. The source of the threat is contacted. Home visits are made and the individual’s access to any type of weapon is investigated, in addition to any evidence of morbid themes or indications of a desire to harm others. The individual(s) are spoken to by investigators. If law enforcement discovers criteria for a mental health evaluation, the individual(s) are detained for a mandatory evaluation by county mental health officials. If evidence of any criminal activity is discovered, the individual(s) are detained/arrested and the results of the criminal investigation are forwarded to Riverside County Juvenile Probation and the Riverside County District Attorney. Subsequently, any time a juvenile is involved, the incident and circumstances are shared with Riverside County Social Services, so that they are able to conduct follow-up visits and create a plan for the affected individual(s) and their family to correct the underlying issues creating the problem behaviors. School administrators, psychologists, and counselors are also informed and initiate procedures to handle the incident pursuant to the California Education Code.
TVUSD schools practice lockdown drills. We do not call them intruder or active shooter drills. Lockdown drills procedurally perform the recommended process of securing students and staff in a safe, locked room, as a first response. These are law enforcement recommended practices.
K-8 sites are required to have one fire drill each month they are in sessions, and a "duck, cover hold" (earthquake) drill at least four times during the school year. High school sites are required to have at least 2 fire drills and 2 "duck, cover hold" drills during the school year.
K-12 sites are required to hold 3 lockdown drills per school year.
While these are best practices, we continue to work with PD and Fire on opportunities to expand our training, which will be greatly benefited by the hiring of a district safety coordinator. There are many variations out there of recommended procedures: Run, Hide, Fight; ALICE, etc. These all have strong components but they aren't all age appropriate. For example, we don't want to send 600 elementary students running into the streets unattended as the first response to an incident. There are many factors to the training and we are teaming with law enforcement and our consultant to make recommendations and be a resource for ongoing staff support and training.