Letters: Antioch School Board candidate offers expertise for campus safety

Dear Editor:

First let me start by saying how proud I am to see the Antioch youth finding their voices, and working to make a difference in this town.  I am also proud of the parents that have been supporting their children’s voices, took the time to listen, and also provide comments to public forms, both for and against SRO’s entering the Antioch Schools.  I am excited to hear how these conversations went between parents, students, and teachers as they discussed what this might mean for our schools going forward.  The students of Antioch asked for security evaluations within their schools, heightened security measures, and while they may not be pleased with the initial outcome of the process, there is some movement within their request.

Youth of Antioch, I know you feel your voices were not heard, but do not let this discourage you from continuing to speak up. The coordination of SRO’s entering your schools is not over, you can still have a say in how this happens.  During the 8/5 meeting Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White requested that safety commissions should be set up as campus organizations, and they should include students. I urge you to push for these safety organizations to be implemented, become part of it, maybe even volunteer to organize such a group at your school.

SRO’s are going to happen, that is a reality. So, let us work to ensure there is a positive outcome from this joint effort between APD and AUSD.  On Aug. 12 the MLU of how these officers will be implemented into the school environment will be discussed, let us have a say in that.  As an Army instructor and security evaluator, I personally would be happy to speak to anyone who would like to discuss their schools campus procedures, I am even willing to offer up my experience and training to assist the AUSD, APD and AUSB for no cost to evaluate campuses, security and emergency procedures, and help to implement how SRO’s can safely work on campuses.   I have worked on joint task forces that trained American Soldiers on how to work in other countries during deployment and helped to arrange training sessions, safety protocols, and Army immersion in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In my civilian career, I have over 10 years’ experience developing and implementing customized training sessions for military and law enforcement agencies here in the United States and in countries have created and assisted in training exhibitions at events such as Urban Shield in Oakland CA, multi-day law enforcement and military training expo and real-world scenario training event, and Shotshow in Las Vegas, Nevada. In my military career, I served on a security planning commission that was in charge of selecting and securing the polling sites in three major cities in Iraq for their first-ever government elections in 2005. I consulted and assisted in the training leading up to and including the security turnover from US forces back to the Iraqi National Guard and Iraqi Police which was placed under the direction of the Ministry of Defence. I managed a Civil-Military Operations Command Center as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Khowst, a province in Afghanistan less than 40 miles from the Pakistan border. With that being said, I know that 40 hours of additional training is in no way enough to make students and parents feel that an officer is qualified to work on campus.

Below are my suggestions for bringing SRO’s to campus without having full exposure to Chief Brookes SRO plans:

  • Ideally, RSO’s should be assigned in pairs. Require all SRO’s to attend, in paired teams, and complete all sensitivity training, diversity training, conflict resolution training, and safety training on all campuses they are assigned to work along with campus staff
  • Require refresher courses annually
  • Officers should not carry a firearm while walking around campus during the school day. There are plenty of other techniques and tools to subdue a student, break up a fight, or conflict management without the fear of a gun. However, the officers should have access to a firearm available that can get to quickly in case it is needed. There should be a discussion on whether officers carry firearms, less than lethal launchers, or a combination of both.
  • Officers should be in street clothes, or a school appointed uniform, not in full APD uniform, and should be completely integrated into the school staff.
  • AUSB mentioned they would like the officers to be role models to students. For this to happen, the hiring practices will be paramount. Offers should be handpicked for the school that they will be working. Officers need to be able to connect with the students at the school they will be serving. If possible, there should be every attempt at finding applicants that either went to the school they would be serving or went to a school that resembles their potential work site in demographics and social/economic at least one officer should be female. Students are more likely to approach a female officer when reporting rape, abuse, bullying, or domestic issues. Also, students should be represented in the final interview process.
  • Create campus safety committees that include at least 3 parents, and are open to students, make it mandatory that officers attend these meetings and address concerns
  • SRO’s are to attend all after school activities (fully armed) and provide security at school-sanctioned events, staying the entire length of the event + 1 hour to help clear any loitering on campus following event conclusion

I would be happy to meet with anyone in our community to further discuss security plans on our campuses, and while I was unable to have a say in the SRO Grant, my goal if elected to the Board for District 1 is that my unique experience will assist in making the SRO program a positive for students, staff, and officers.

Thank you,

George Young III

SSG, Civil Affairs Section NCOIC;

Team Leader; Observer/Controller – Trainer

1005th Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Training CO, Airborne

1st Training Brigade; Special Operations




2020 Antioch Unified School District District 1 Candidate

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