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LBUSD Safety and Security FAQs

Click here for a printable PDF of the LBUSD Safety and Security FAQs.

Overview

Our schools work closely with law enforcement every day, often behind the scenes, to keep our students safe. For safety reasons, we refrain from disclosing details of tactical protocols jointly developed with law enforcement and our Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness, but these frequently asked questions and answers describe our safety framework and key precautions. We continually revise and improve our safety plans using guidance from local and national law enforcement agencies and other national experts.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (click question to expand)

State law requires that every school maintains and continuously updates a “Comprehensive School Safety Plan,” which combines the emergency operations plan for possible emergencies, and the safe school plan to promote a safe and secure school environment. At each LBUSD school, standardized emergency procedures and security and protective measures are in place. Some drills are mandated by the federal government, and others are mandated by the LBUSD Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Additionally, each school has an automated system that allows for school staff to communicate to every teacher and/or student in the event of an emergency on campus. Teachers and staff review safety plans and instructions with students, and emergency practice drills are conducted regularly. Safety plans are updated annually, and copies can be reviewed at each school.

Each Comprehensive School Safety Plan includes:

  • Active shooter drills
  • Plans for multiple scenarios – earthquakes, wellness, intruders, shooters, lockdowns, lock-outs, etc.
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Maintaining safe school environments

Schools in the District are considered “closed campuses”. This means the District has moved to ensure that all schools have a single point of entry / registration for all visitors.

Currently, state law and Board policy require visitors to show their ID to verify who they are and their reason for requesting a visit. 

In 2018, LBUSD allocated $11 million for additional safety and security features in local schools. This investment into school safety included adding perimeter fencing, creating closed campuses at many sites across LBUSD. Security cameras and buzzer-access entry doors also have been added to main entrances on all campuses. The addition of these security features means that campuses may not be accessible to the public after hours and on weekends unless specifically permitted by the school district. Visitors should keep in mind these additional security measures, making appointments in advance when possible and using the main entrance when arriving on campus.

Before and after school, the number of open gates is limited, and staff monitor every open gate. Non-essential gates are closed and locked after student entry and dismissal. Once the instructional day has begun, all visitors and outsiders are required to register in the office to request permission to enter the campus for specific reasons. All visitors and outsiders must sign in and provide a valid reason for visiting.

Schools welcome parent and community involvement, and schools are often centers for the surrounding community. However, the main purpose of schools is providing an education to students. Under the law, schools are not considered open to the public, or a public forum, such as a public park or sidewalk. Instead, schools are considered a “limited public forum” and may limit public access in accordance with reasonable regulations set by the school. 

Registration or check-in for permission to visit a school campus is required by state law. The purpose for this is to:

  • Reduce disruption to the educational process of the school
  • Limit access for those who have no business being on the school grounds, who may disrupt the educational process, or who pose a threat to students and/or staff
  • Know who’s on campus and who comes in and out
  • In the event of an emergency, account for everyone on campus

As guided by California Civil Code and Education Code, and as stated LBUSD’s annual Guidelines for Parents and Students:

The school district expects civility from all individuals engaging in school activities. Mutual respect, professionalism and common courtesy are essential qualities in promoting an educational and work environment free from disruptions, harassment, bullying and aggression. Any person who willfully disturbs any public school or any public school meeting is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500). It is unlawful to intentionally or to attempt to injure, intimidate, interfere by force, threat of force, physical obstruction, or nonviolent physical obstruction with any person attempting to enter or exit any public or private school grounds.

LBUSD, in partnership with the Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness and local law enforcement, has a “Threat Assessment Protocol'' in place for assessing visitors, students and/or staff who have been identified as potentially posing a threat for school violence or harm to themselves. Threat assessments can be prompted by an individual’s words, behaviors, written correspondence, emails, texts, etc. 

Yes. Software on computers used by LBUSD students is automatically filtered and alerts staff when the threat of violence or self-harm may be present. The purpose of this filtering is to prevent student access to unacceptable websites and to notify staff of students who may be at risk of self-harm, school violence, or suicide. The District assesses and blocks millions of web requests per day, and has the ability to send automated alerts to District staff if certain categories are triggered (e.g. suicide, guns, hate, terrorism).

The Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness, local law enforcement and the LBUSD Marketing and Media Services Office actively monitor social media for any threats or inappropriate content, including by using automated systems that flag potentially dangerous behavior.

Each alert is responded to with a threat or suicide assessment so that the student receives the support and services they need to assist them. The filtering is active 24/7, and parents are notified when the system has alerted staff that their child has been identified as having potential for self-harm or school violence.

Additionally, student responses to state tests are monitored at the State level for language that may indicate a student may need support to avoid harming themselves or others. Immediately upon notification from the testing program, the District and/or school sites will reach out to the specific student to follow up and provide support.

Information regarding student use of District technology can be found in the LBUSD Guidelines for Parents and Students.

Various agencies such as the Long Beach Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department work with the LBUSD Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness to monitor social media, web traffic, and email messages, and respond to threats found either by law enforcement or by LBUSD. Law enforcement notifies LBUSD if they learn of a potential threat involving District students or schools.

Yes. All sites receive annual training in responding to an active shooter or armed intruder. Response protocols to these threats are included in the Comprehensive School Safety Plan. Site staff are also trained to utilize the automated lockdown system at each school.

District Staff must wear their ID, and all other visitors/outsiders are provided with a visitor pass/badge upon registration.

Families, students or staff can report any incidents or concerns to local law enforcement or the Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness Communications Center 24/7. If requested, any report will remain anonymous.

Important phone numbers:

Long Beach Police Department

Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness:

  • School Emergencies or School Safety Call: 562-997-8101
  • Non-Emergency - School Safety Information : 562-997-8006
  • School Safety Communications Center (24/7): 562-997-8101
  • School Safety Administration Office: 562-997-8006
  • Non-Emergency - Emergency Preparedness: 562-997-8338

While LBUSD is constantly updating and adjusting our safety and security protocols and guidelines, the District also monitors events such as school shootings elsewhere to help determine whether we need to make additional changes to existing procedures. We use the following guidelines in our review and response process:  

  • Identify the need for any additional security and, if necessary, coordinate efforts with local law enforcement agencies
  • Reduce site ingress and egress points to a minimum
  • Ensure all visitors sign-in at the main office 
  • Refuse access to people who do not have identification or a legitimate need to enter the site 
  • Increase perimeter checks of site, check buildings for unattended packages, and remind students and staff to report any suspicious activity or circumstances immediately
  • Review crisis response protocols
  • Conduct evacuation, active intruder and lockdown drills throughout the school year
  • Discuss students’ fears concerning school shootings and offer available resources 
  • Request advice and additional patrol checks from local law enforcement 

In addition, secondary schools conduct random searches regularly. If probable cause exists, the school district also works with law enforcement to conduct K-9 searches. 

A safe passage program in partnership with local law enforcement helps to ensure safe travel from school to home.

The District provides professional support to students through our Office of Student Support Services (OSSS). OSSS provides assistance to students and staff experiencing trauma (divorce, death in the family, bullying, depression, etc.) and teaching students social skills. LBUSD has the following programs designed to support student wellness:

  • School Counselors (Middle & High School)
  • School Psychologists
  • Wellness Centers (High Schools)
  • Family Resource Centers (select elementary and middle schools)
  • Crisis Response Team
  • District Attendance Team
  • Bullying Prevention
  • Foster Youth Unit
  • Home Hospital Instruction 
  • Student Health Services
  • 504 Plans
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
  • Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training
  • LGBTQ+ Students and Resources

The District utilizes a variety of methods to communicate to parents and community. They include auto-dialer or robo-call phone calls to parents and staff, text messages for those who have opted into this feature, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and other social media platforms, and video messages if necessary.

The procedures for dealing with major disasters and intruders on campus, including lockdown, evacuation, and reunification of students with their parents/guardians are included in each school site’s Comprehensive School Safety Plan. In a lockdown/evacuation situation, the priority will always be to ensure student safety. This means that students will not be released to parents/guardians until police, fire, or District administration determines that the situation leading to a lockdown/evacuation is clear and it is safe to reunify students with their parents.

In such situations, parents will not be permitted entrance into the affected school or access to their children, and may be directed to a location away from the school until authorities determine that it is safe to release the students. When it is safe to do so, District and/or law enforcement officials will provide parents and the community with information updates as they are available. It is important that parents and community members follow the directions of school and law enforcement authorities in emergency situations to help ensure the safety and accounting of all students and staff.

A shelter-in-place action can be activated to protect from a potential danger, including an environmental hazard such as gas leak or toxic air coming from a nearby building, keeping students and staff in their current location until safety is assured. 

A lockdown goes further so that all doors are locked and people are prevented from leaving or entering campus. A lockdown can be activated as a precaution or in the face of a realistic threat to the school or site. For instance, a school may lock down as a precaution when law enforcement activity is occurring near the school (even if that activity is not directly related to the school site), or when there is a suspected (or confirmed) intruder on the school campus.

If it is determined that students need to be evacuated from a school for safety reasons, the students will be transported to an evacuation location. In some cases this location will be pre-determined in the site’s safety plan, and in other situations, the location may be determined in collaboration with law enforcement based on safety and security needs.

In such situations, parents will not be permitted entrance into the affected school or access to their children until it is safe to do so and all students are accounted for. Parents may be directed to a location away from the school until authorities determine that it is safe to release the students. When it is safe to do so, District and/or law enforcement officials will provide communication to parents and the community with information updates as they are available. It is important that parents and community members follow the directions of school and law enforcement authorities in emergency situations to help ensure the safety of all students and staff.

After the incident has been given the “all-clear”, the District will notify parents through phone calls, social media, and text messages with the reunification information, including where/how to pick-up their children. This may be the same location as the evacuation location or students may be transported to a special re-unification location.

LBUSD has an Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness that is entrusted by the Board of Education with the responsibility to maintain a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, and District personnel in the Long Beach Unified School District.

The School Safety Division provides service to the school community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week under the direction of the Chief of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Division personnel are available to respond to many types of calls for service to maintain order and discipline, locate missing students, investigate violations of school board policies, detain students violating the law or school board policies on school property and school-sponsored events, and respond to emergencies.

During an emergency, the Office of School Safety and Emergency Preparedness may activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to an appropriate level to facilitate the District’s emergency response. In a moment’s notice, Division personnel would staff the EOC to monitor the situation and identify other departments and resources needed to perform essential functions. Key decision makers and representatives from District departments would report to the EOC and work together to restore a safe and secure educational environment for our students and schools.

At all LBUSD High Schools, School Safety Officers patrol and monitor the vicinity around the school, and can respond quickly to sites when necessary. Our Middle and K-8 schools have unarmed Campus Staff Assistants who provide additional security and radio communication. Volunteers and roving School Safety Officers assist all schools, including our elementary schools.

LBUSD uses the National Emergency Management System (NEMS) model, which guides all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector to work together to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from incidents.

Under this system, various levels exist for activation of LBUSD’s Emergency Operation Center, or EOC. These levels include:

  • Level 3: The EOC is not yet activated, but the situation is being monitored.
  • Level 2: School Safety staff are present at the EOC.
  • Level 1: LBUSD’s whole team is activated, for instance during a large earthquake.