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Oakley Superintendent Highlights Steps Taken to Improve School Safety | #schoolsaftey


In response to recent activities on school grounds, Oakley Union Elementary School District Superintendent Jeff Palmquist highlighted several steps the District has taken to improve school safety in the past year.

This comes as a kindergartner brought a knife to school and allegedly threatened other students. While on Tuesday, Yvette Brice, 61, Antioch, armed with a knife, yelling at other adults at Delta Vista Middle School was arrested.

Although the District has dealt with two recent high profile incidents, Palmquist says that after meeting with middle school administration that there has been an overall decrease in incidents, although, he did not provide any data.

“When incidents occur we hold students accountable for their actions as prescribed in ed code,” says Palmquist. “While the volume of incidents may not be up so far, we take safety incidents (like the ones referenced) seriously. Whenever serious incidents occur, we review policy and practice and work across departments with school sites in order to support. Schools will be bringing this topic to their School Site Councils to review, revise, and adopt safety plans, and we will be addressing this with our district team.”

He added that the District does send out “stay-away” letters to parents and guardian that explicitly gives notice about their behavior.

Palmquist provided a list of actions the District has taken to improve safety:

  • This year we substantially increased the number of counselors and administrators on sites.
  • Last year, we added full-time Safety and Facility monitors to each middle school and are continuing with this position.
  • Delta Vista has implemented a PBIS (evidenced-based) program, and both middle schools are using re-center rooms to deescalate student issues.
  • We conducted anti-bullying assemblies at all sites last year with our partner, Family Purpose. We have extended our relationship with them into this year.
  • As part of the relationship with Family Purpose, they have intervention staff at both middle schools this year.
  • We conducted a well-attended CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) training this summer.
  • We started a Community Engagement Circle process for student and parent feedback at the end of last year. This will extend into this school year and expand.
  • We have just appointed a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Social Worker. She coordinates support efforts whenever there is an incident. She already has a team mobilized to support at Delta Vista tomorrow.
  • We work closely with the police department and debrief incidents with them. We are working with them to do drills on school sites.
  • We are installing digital marquees to every site to increase communication which will prove useful in communicating pro-safety messages and any crisis information (should it be necessary).

The following letter was issued Tuesday in response to the altercation:

August 15, 2023

Dear Delta Vista Families,

I want to make you aware and provide you with accurate information about a very serious incident that took place after school today during dismissal in the front parking lot.

At approximately 3:25 PM two parents/guardians engaged in a verbal altercation.  Staff immediately responded and intervened.  The Oakley Police Department was called since the verbal altercation was escalating.  One parent/guardian left the school and the other went to the office.  The altercation appeared to  have de-escalated but police remained in front of the school.  At approximately 3:40 PM, the parent/guardian who previously left returned with their spouse, confronting the other parent/guardian and re-engaged in a verbal altercation in front of the administrative building.  First staff, then police, intervened as the children of the parents/guardians engaged in a physical altercation.  At this time, one parent/guardian was observed brandishing a knife towards the other parent/guardian in a threatening manner.  The parent/guardian was apprehended by one of the responding police officers and an arrest was made.  The Oakley Police Department secured the scene.  A thorough investigation is underway and appropriate consequences will be given to our students involved in the physical altercation.  

I want to reassure you safety is a top priority for me and I could not be more proud of our staff’s and Oakley Police Department’s immediate and professional response to this matter. We will continue to provide a safe environment for our students and staff.  We will not tolerate any unsafe acts, from students or adults, who compromise the safety of our school community.

I know everyone will respond to this news in different ways based on recent events and their own past experiences.  Please know counseling support will be available for both staff and students.  I do understand you may have questions or concerns you wish to discuss directly with me.  Please don’t hesitate to call me or schedule a time for us to meet in person.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rusty Ehrlich, Principal

Upcoming School Board Meeting



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