If you weren’t able to get to last night’s annual PTSA-sponsored Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School safety meeting – we recorded it on video. The major headline: This year has been much less eventful than last year, which meant no major controversies or crime concerns to talk about last night, unlike the same meeting last March (WSB coverage here).
Most of last night’s presenting participants were the same as last year:
Starting the meeting was Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer, who explained policies including the difference between a lockdown and a “shelter in place.” (Later in the meeting, she and Denny principal Jeff Clark clarified further that the former generally relates to an active threat on campus, while the latter generally relates to a possible threat from outside.)
Nearby Westwood Village came up a few times; someone asked about the plans for a safe path for students to get there and back (a city-funded project announced last year). Fraser-Hammer said it’s expected to be completed next year.
Seattle Public Schools associate superintendent Pegi McEvoy, whose accountabilities include student safety, was also a repeat participant. Her brief remarks included mention of a drill the district conducted with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and precinct commanders last fall.
She was followed by the Southwest Precinct’s commander, Capt. Pierre Davis, who said his Community Police Team officers particularly enjoy working with Denny’s Youth Ambassadors. Asked about graffiti vandalism in the Westwood area, he said tagging is not necessarily the work of young vandals – some of those they identify and arrest are adults in their 30s. He reiterated the “if you see something, say something” request heard at most meetings with police presence.
Jill Hangen of Moms Demand Action spoke next, addressing gun safety. She asked parents to be sure their firearms are secure, and to ask families whose homes their children visit if there are firearms in the home and if they’re secure.
Denny principal Clark mentioned students’ recent gun-safety discussion with legislators during his part of the program, and also had more to say about the Youth Ambassadors, whose brainstorming/problem-solving work is part of a class.
Jonathan Jefferson from Communities in Schools was last to speak, explaining that he works with about 60 students at CSIHS who are potentially at risk of dropping out
Also at the meeting, as she was last year, was District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, whose grandchildren attend Seattle Public Schools.