Erika Felix one of the panelists for “Conversation on School Safety in the South Coast” on October 17

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety webpage screencap

The National Association of School Psychologists states that students who do not feel safe and supported at school, both physically and psychologically, cannot learn to their fullest potential. That is the starting point for an upcoming presentation on school safety in Santa Barbara County presented by the South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety (SCTFYS). The organizers are hosting Conversation on School Safety in the South Coast, a forum for educators, physical and mental health professionals, social service providers, law enforcement, parents, youth and others to engage in solution-based discussions to promote safety in schools. The conversation will include a panel of local leaders who are tasked with ensuring children are safe while attending area schools. Specific topics to be covered at this SCTFYS quarterly meeting are mental health resources, school discipline, bullying and other youth challenges and community concerns in Santa Barbara County. The event will be held at Goleta Valley Junior High on Wednesday, October 17 from 3 – 5 pm. The public is invited.

The panel includes:
Dr. Frann Wageneck – Assistant Superintendent, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Kelly Moore – Safety Coordinator, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Dr. Erika Felix – Associate Professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara
Barnaby Gloger – Principal/Safety Coordinator, Carpinteria Unified School District
Stephanie Ramirez-Zarate – Field Representative, Assembly Member Monique Limón (AD-37)

After the panel discussion, there will be a moderated question-and-answer period.

“We are looking forward to hosting this important conversation with the community and our Taskforce partners,” said Saul Serrano, Coordinator of the South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety and one of the event’s producers. “In the last year, school safety and access to mental health services for youth have been among the most discussed topics in our region. We are looking forward to having leaders in school safety share information, provide updates, and let us know what is being done to enhance safety in schools.”

This special event was incubated out of the successful Summit on Youth Safety and Wellness held in July of this year, and is the most recent in a series of annual gatherings and summits on youth safety held in Santa Barbara County since 2011.

The South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety is a regional partnership that includes the County of Santa Barbara, and the cities of Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria. Participants include elected officials, local government agencies and executives, law enforcement, education, faith community, philanthropic and community-based organizations, youth and parents. The mission of SCTFYS is to connect, mobilize and align community resources to enhance the safety and quality of life for youth, their families and the community. The South Coast Task Force on Youth Safety is administered by the Community Action Commission (CAC) of Santa Barbara County.

“It is so important for schools to provide a safe and inclusive environment where all students feel welcome and supported especially when they make a mistake or repeatedly break the rules,” says Jill D. Sharkey, Associate Dean for Research and Outreach, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara, and a member of the SCTFYS. “Students do best when they learn in caring environments with strict and consistent rules. Through relentlessly positive and constructive education, schools can help all children thrive, even if they experience trauma or daily stress.”

Community members interested in attending the October 17 Conversation on School Safety in the South Coast can call Community Action Commission (805) 964-8857 x1152 to RSVP or for information.

[Erika Felix and Jill Sharkey are available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805.893.5789.]