State, school leaders hold school safety summit to discuss issues and solutions
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “We see the concern to make sure our children and staff members are protected,” Lt. Gov. Howie Morales said Tuesday at the state’s first Safe School Summit.
School safety is always a top priority for parents and families, and over the last couple of years there has been a growing debate on how exactly we can make our schools safer. So, schools, law enforcement, and government agencies have come together to talk about how they can do just that across our state.
The halls of the Santa Ana Star Conference rooms were lined with booths for different security companies, offering everything from bulletproof glass to state-of-the-art security systems.
“We have heard consistently about gun violence which is a concern, and we need to make sure that we are hardening school facilities, whether that is with armed guards or with metal detectors. Whether it’s cameras but most importantly we have to ensure we have a well-rounded approach,” Morales said.
In the last year, there have been multiple instances of students bringing guns to school. Just in October, two students were arrested at West Mesa High School for having loaded guns on them in the classroom.
Part of the summit’s approach is listening to the people who are in those classrooms every day.
“We heard directly from students on Monday, about what they feel is lacking what could be done better that was a wonderful opportunity to hear from them,” Morales said.
More than 350 people from across the state and from multiple school districts came to the first Safe School Summit to share what works or doesn’t.
“We can all learn from each other in ways we have handled school shootings, in ways we handle threats, how we handle social media, how we handle data privacy. It’s not limited to any district, so the purpose of this summit is to get everyone talking and develop the best practices that work best for New Mexico,” APS Superintendent Scott Elder said.
Organizers say this summit has already been a success at just getting the conversation started, and they are already planning for next year’s event.