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San Diego Psychologists To Play Role In Improving School Safety

— Two weeks after agreeing to review school site safety, the San Diego Unified Board of Education will consider another plan to prevent tragedies like the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Aired 1/22/13 on KPBS News.

Two weeks after agreeing to review school site safety, the San Diego Unified Board of Education will consider another plan to prevent tragedies like the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

San Diego leaders gather at City Hall to discuss school safety in the wake of a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and six adults dead.

A resolution to further improve school safety, sponsored by School Board President John Lee Evans and School Board Trustee Marne Foster, includes support for Senator Diane Feinstein’s renewal of the assault rifle ban. But Evans said securing schools sites and supporting gun control is not enough.

“We’re also calling for broader support for mental health services," he said. "Many of the families of both the shooters and other have tried to reach out and didn’t find the right resources to be available.”

To make those resources available, San Diego Unified will partner with the San Diego Psychological Association. Association members will provide free training to teachers and staff about how to identify students who may benefit from mental health services.

The partnership would start with psychologists collecting feedback from parents, students and teachers, according to Richard Levak, one of the association's members heading the effort.

“Often when you go to the shop floor, so to speak, there are people who have ideas, who know what might work and so first of all we’re going to start trying to understand what their worries are, what they think might work,” he said.

Under the plan, the first staff trainings would start in March.

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