HomeSchools & YouthBurbank School Board Approves Campus Safety Plans

Burbank School Board Approves Campus Safety Plans

The Burbank Unified School District Board of Education approved the district’s annual school safety plans Thursday, outlining procedures and policies to ensure the wellness of students and staff at BUSD school sites.

Each report outlines the district’s response to safety scenarios ranging from dress code policy to child abuse and bullying to tactical responses to criminal incidents on campus.

“This year’s work on Comprehensive School Safety Plans involved administrators working closely with staff, parents and other stakeholders to analyze and assess their school environments and focus on specific areas of need that require attention,” said Linda Junge, assistant superintendent of instructional services in her report to the Board.

State law mandates that the district maintain such safety plans, and board-mandated policies add additional requirements and procedures to address site-specific needs.

BUSD worked with the Burbank Police Department and the Burbank Fire Department to develop each plan and anticipate campus-specific scenarios in the event of an active criminal threat at a school site or district administrative office, stated district staff in the report.

“Based on this partnership, BUSD requires age-appropriate lockdown drills and encourages staff attendance at active threat training provided by Burbank [Police]. BUSD recommends all employees attend the BPD active threat training at least once every two years,” stated the report.

The reports, one for each school in the district, include campus-specific crime data, which outlines the number of crimes that occurred on campus in the last year, and a summary of crimes nearby each school site.

BUSD teachers, parents, students and administrators expressed shock and outrage early last year over campus safety after a man was arrested at Burbank High School after he allegedly trespassed on campus and sexually assaulted three girls who were students at the school.

The incident exposed a few glaring safety concerns at Burbank High, including a side door that was often propped open and a lack of ID card compliance. The episode also brought up discussion about school resource officers and on-campus security.

As of now, all schools utilize campus security teams that “maintain a safe and secure campus environment, secure and manage gates, conduct search-and-rescue missions during emergencies and control access into buildings,” according to the report. These teams do not carry firearms.

The safety plan for Burbank High School was completed but accidentally was omitted from the larger package on Thursday. It will be presented at the next BUSD Board meeting for board approval, said Assistant Superintendent Andrew Cantwell. 

BUSD board policy states that schools will conduct a minimum of two lockdown drills each school year. The district will ensure employees are trained on threat assessment, prevention and active shooter training, according to the report.

The Board approved the campus safety plans unanimously in a vote Thursday evening.

First published in the February 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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