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Burbank Unified assures community of school safety in the aftermath of Florida shooting

Burbank Unified assures community of school safety in the aftermath of Florida shooting
John Burroughs High principal Deborah Madrigal directs a student to his class as BUSD Supt. Matt Hill listens in on the first day of school in 2016. Hill said Thursday the district is working to review and increase safety measures at district schools. (File Photo)

In the wake of a mass shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school last week, Burbank Unified School District officials sent a message to parents Thursday affirming their commitment to student and campus safety.

BUSD Supt. Matt Hill said the district is "working closely with the Burbank Police Department to review and increase" safety measures at all schools. Each Burbank school does have safety and emergency plans that are reviewed annually, Hill said.

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As a response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students across the country plan to walk out of school at 10 a.m. on March 14 for 17 minutes — symbolizing the 17 who died in the incident. Planned by the organizers of the Women's March, the walkout will call on Congress to take action on gun-control legislation.

A website shows that a walkout is planned at Burbank High School.

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"While I fully support students and adults having the opportunity to express their concerns and opinions, I want to ensure those activities take place in a safe and productive manner," Hill said.

Each school will hold age-appropriate activities related to the walkouts, he said.

Elementary schools will have curriculum "promoting peace, tolerance and mindfulness" while secondary schools will hold individual events "based on our students' needs."

Hill said several students were interested in holding a forum where they can ask questions in a safe space based around gun control, mental health and school safety.

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He also said the district will not entertain the idea of giving teachers guns, referencing President Donald Trump's push to arm instructors as a way to combat school shooters.

"The last thing we need to do is spend money on firearms training and guns," he said. "On the contrary, our teachers and students need funding and support so that they can focus on teaching and learning."

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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