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METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Ballou Senior High School
School Safety Plan
February 18, 2004
Mayor Anthony A. Williams
District of Columbia
Chief Charles H. Ramsey
Metropolitan Police Department
Assistant Chief Winston Robinson
Regional Operations Command East
Table of Contents
Facts About Ballou Senior High School
Risk Factors at Ballou
Security Operations at Ballou
Part 1: Command and Control and Staffing
Part II: Physical Security
Part III: School Security Policies and Procedures
Prevention and Intervention
Appendices [Not available online]
Appendix A: WSA Contract
Appendix B: Guard Tour System
Appendix C: Entry Control
Mayor's press release
On February 2, 2004, at approximately 10:30 AM, James
Richardson, a Ballou Senior High School student, was fatally shot in the
school by Thomas J. Boykin, another Ballou student. It is believed that
Boykin entered the school with a firearm through a side door that had
been left ajar-either inadvertently or intentionally. Because of the
two-hour delay of school due to icy conditions, the hallways were
crowded with students not yet in class. Richardson was outside of the
daycare center on the first floor when he was shot.
Unfortunately, this was only the most recent and violent
of a series of incidents that have plagued Ballou during the 2003-2004
school year. At least 10 other significant altercations-which have
resulted in the arrest of 11 youths-have been documented since November
The Government of the District of Columbia is developing
a coordinated plan to address some of the challenges at Ballou that have
contributed to the outbreak of conflict and violent crime. The plan will
coordinate services and outreach provided by District agencies and
community-based organizations operating in the Ballou community. In
order to ensure that these services reach the students in greatest need,
a team will be conducting assessments to identify students and families
most at risk for violence. In support of these efforts, a Ballou hotline
has been established to provide ready access to the community resource
The goal of all of these efforts-ensuring that students
at Ballou have a safe and secure learning environment-hinges on physical
security at Ballou. The Metropolitan Police Department of the District
of Columbia (MPD) is ready to work with the Ballou community to provide
this critical foundation so that students have the opportunity to
succeed and to go on to help their community thrive as well. This first
draft of our security proposal is based on observations of MPD personnel
working at Ballou and in the community, and on the current security
contract between DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the Watkins Security
Agency (WSA). We have not yet received confirmation from DCPS on some
The overarching goals of a security plan and system are
to reduce or eliminate opportunities for criminal or disorderly
incidents, to increase the probability that any offenders will be
caught, and to ensure that consequences are established and enforced.1
Under this plan, the third point of this critical security triangle
would be a burden shared by both MPD and the Ballou administration. As
always, MPD will continue to enforce the laws of the District in and
around the school. In turn, Ballou must ensure that the policies needed
to support a secure learning environment are in place, and that
violations of school policy are handled seriously and consistently.
Principal: Dr. Art Bridges
Location: 3401 4th Street, SE, Ward 8, Seventh District,
Feeder schools: P.R. Harris, Hart Middle School, and
Johnson Junior High School Number of Students: 1097 students (of which
it is estimated that only 800-900 are in attendance on any given day)
Number of Teachers & other Employees: 150
- Hours of classes: 8:45 AM to 3:15 PM
- Hours of extracurricular activities:
7:30 AM to 8:45 AM, 3:15 PM to 10:00 PM
- Hours of Ballou STAY: 9 AM to 9 PM
- Weekend activities: There are rarely
weekend activities at Ballou. Groups that have Building Use Agreements
with DCPS will sometimes use it, but are required to provide security.
- Community use: Covenant House Late
Night Basketball, 8:30 of 11:30 PM, Tuesday and Friday, January through
Other Building Functions: Ballou STAY is an alternative
education program onsite at Ballou. It is designed for students 18 years
and older who have dropped out of school. Classes toward either a high
school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate
are offered a schedule that enables students to complete their degree in
half the normal time. In addition, developmental reading and basic
mathematics, as well as a variety of vocational classes, are offered.
In the context of security at Ballou, risk takes on two
meanings: the underlying factors that contribute to-or increase the risk
of-violence as well as the risks to successful implementation of a
security plan. A security analysis must identify the most significant
vulnerabilities in order to develop a plan to mitigate those risks.
Elevated risk can be a function of general community characteristics,
institutional rules and decision-making, and physical characteristics,
among other things. These issues are all addressed here. One risk factor
that we do not directly address is a larger community issue-some of the
violent acts are so blatant that we can only assume that the
perpetrators are willing to risk being caught and/or injured themselves.
Though MPD plans to physically secure the facility and to provide
enhanced support for the students at Ballou. the city as a whole must
address the factors that foster this disregard for personal safety and
The Ballou Community
The Ballou school and community face many challenges that
elevate the risk of incidents of violent and other crime in the school.
Ballou is the only high school in Ward Eight, which, according to the
1990 Census, has the lowest median income, highest unemployment rate, and highest number of single-parent households in the
District. The median income in 1998 was 35 percent less than the median
income for the entire city.2
These community challenges are the backdrop for a school
with recent high profile violent crimes. Conflicts or "beefs"
between groups of students are common. The risk of conflict is
exacerbated by the concentration of students coming from housing
projects with tight crews, as well as by the liberal acceptance of out
of boundary students.
Institutional policies and their enforcement can be a
mitigating or aggravating factor in school safety and security; Ballou
has policies and practices that limit control and security of the
campus, thereby increasing risk. A campus without policies and
procedures to ensure that students are in the right place at the right
times (e.g., classrooms) is difficult to monitor and make secure. It
does not appear as if Ballou puts a high priority on ensuring that this
For instance, truancy is a major concern in the Ballou
community. During the 2003-2004 school year to date, 17 percent of the
students (188) have been absent 10-13 days.3 A possible contributing
factor is a recent change in truancy policy through which DCPS has
restricted MPD's ability to pick up truant students. The new policy
dictates that tardy students who are headed toward school should not be
picked up for truancy.
Additionally, once in the school, students have a great
deal of freedom to roam hallways during class periods without challenge.
Students who lose their photo identification card (ID) are issued a
paper ID without a photo, which they then pass on to youth not
authorized to be in the building. These uncontrolled IDs increase the
risk of suspended or other unauthorized youths returning to campus and
being disruptive. In addition, the security system for visitors is
loose; visitors are given a sticker to indicate that they have checked
in with security. However, since these stickers are not a controlled
inventory, others can get a hold of them.
These are just a few indicators of a school that has not
chosen to strictly enforce high standards of conduct for its students.
The laxity extends to more serious matters. For instance, there is a
no-tolerance policy regarding possession of weapons or illegal drugs on
school grounds. However, although policy requires that a student found
with these items automatically be expelled from school, students are
frequently suspended instead. Students who arrive at school under the
influence of drugs or alcohol are not consistently suspended or expelled
either. The consequences for minor violations of school policy are also
minimized; the school tolerates students having walkmans, carrying book
bags, and wearing coats during the day, all of which are against stated
Of course, one of the most important aspects of security
is control of the facilities. This relates both to the physical
properties of the school and the campus and to the policies and
procedures regarding its use.
We have requested from Neighborhood Services an
assessment of the exterior physical conditions of the buildings and
grounds. This request includes an evaluation of the critical
environmental issues of lighting, fencing, and graffiti, litter, and
other evidence of disorder, as well as security issues such as the
number of entrances, windows, and so forth.
Whatever the physical state of the facilities, the
policies governing the physical factors are equally important. There are
currently five entrances in use at Ballou and not all entrances are
guarded or have metal detectors. One example of an entrance that poses
risk to the security of the building is the teacher's entrance, which is
unlocked-and apparently unsupervised-from 8:00 to 8:45 AM. The entry
control issue is discussed in depth in this report.
Ballou's parking lot has had a dangerous reputation.
There are no policies or permits governing student parking-anyone can
use the lot. Though at one time an armed guard had been stationed in the
parking lot, this guard was removed before the February 2 shooting (the
guard in the lot has since been reinstated).
The parking practices around the school are another risk
factor. School officers report that students often hang out in their
cars on adjacent streets after school, and many may be driving
unregistered or stolen vehicles. The difficulty in controlling this
problem arises because some teachers who have not wanted to use Ballou's
south parking lot (for reasons of safety and convenience) have chosen to
park on the street instead. Because the consequences of stricter parking
restrictions will result in either teachers getting ticketed or having
to park in the south lot, this has been a difficult situation to
The existing school lunch policy is also a risk factor.
Currently, there is only one lunch period a day, which all students
attend. Students eat lunch in the cafeteria, armory, and gym because the
cafeteria only holds 300 people. This large lunch crowd increases the
risk of tension and conflict between groups with "beefs." For
example, in November 2003, there was sizeable brawl inside the cafeteria
involving over 15 students from Barry Farms and Condon Terrace. It is
important to note that the school used to have two lunch periods but
changed to one period to increase security and student accountability.
Because the school did not have the resources to monitor whether
students were in the lunchroom at the correct time, they moved to the
single lunch period. However, this policy has increased the chaos of the
lunch period -with lunch areas that are far apart and crowded - having a
negative impact on security.
Finally, the lack of additional security for the daycare
center is a notable risk, as well as a potential liability for the city.
The fatal shooting on February 2nd occurred in the hallway just outside
of the daycare center, where there were no cameras and no patrols.
Part 1. Command and Control and Staffing of Security
Unity of command speaks to the need of having a single
entity responsible for security at Ballou Senior High School and that
command decisions can be made by that entity with minimal consultation
with others. Currently there are two agencies responsible for school
security at Ballou. The primary responsibility rests with D.C. Public
Schools (DCPS) Security Office. The principal at Ballou has no authority
over school security. MPD plays a supporting role.
Current Command and Control Structure
DCPS provides school security through a contract with
Watkins Security Agency (WSA). By contract (see Appendix A), WSA is to provide security
services on a twenty-four-hours-aday, seven-days-a week,
fifty-two-weeks-a-year basis at all educational, administrative, and
operational locations. The original contract authorized 343.5 FTEs for
There is a Project Manager at WSA for the DCPS contract
who is accountable to Mr. Tuckson, head of DCPS Security. There is also
an Assistant Project Manager and Chief Investigator at WSA. There is a
Cluster Supervisor who is responsible for time and attendance and
discipline for the school security personnel at group of schools in a
geographic area. A Senior School Resource Officer is the immediate
supervisor at each junior and senior high school (see Chart 1). School
Security Officers, who are unarmed, report to the Senior School Resource
Officer, and Facility Security Officers, who are armed, report to the
WSA operates a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week Central
Command Center (CCC) at DCPS headquarters. This is an information
gathering and communications center. Personnel assigned to the CCC
monitor the CCTV cameras and alarms in the schools. The CCC has the
capability to dispatch the armed Facility Security Officers, who respond
to various locations as needed. WSA also has investigators, who
investigate incidents in and around school property involving students
and staff, a Youth Gang Task Force, which does conflict mediation in the
schools and with the gangs in the area, and Operation SAVE, which is a
back-up unit. The Senior School Resource Officer has the daily
responsibility for security at Ballou. They are advised by the DCPS
Security Office to coordinate with the principal.
Chart 1. DCPS Organization for Ballou Security
Current WSA and MPD Staffing and Roles
Normally there are seven WSA personnel assigned to Ballou.
Since the recent shooting incident, 4 armed officers and 20 unarmed
officers have been assigned to Ballou. The security force assigned to
Ballou on the day of the recent shooting incident consisted of ten to
twelve unarmed officers and one supervisor, which was higher than normal
because there had been many fights at the school prior to the shooting
incidents. No special units were present.
WSA personnel are to perform the following type of work
- Conduct static and roving patrols
(armed officers patrol the perimeter and are not allowed in the school
unless a serious incident occurs).
- Apply crime prevention measures.
- Prepare and submit reports of
incidents, investigations, intrusions.. crime and other matters.
- Control entrances and exits to
facilities and vital areas.
- Apprehend persons attempting to, or
gaining unauthorized access to any DCPS facility.
- Check rooms and buildings during
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) also normally
assigns two School Resource Officers to Ballou, who work alongside the
WSA staff in a coordinated manner. Both WSA and MPD officers patrol the
building and the perimeter of the school and both groups of officers
make arrests. MPD has authority in all criminal matters. The MPD
officers are members of the Seventh Police District and are supervised
by the School Resource Sergeant assigned to the Seventh District. In
addition to the duties listed above, MPD officers also are present at
school events and assist with the school peer counseling program. The
Sergeant is responsible for scheduling and supervising all School
Resources Officers in the Seventh District and for coordinating
In addition, MPD has responsibility for patrolling and
providing police services in the neighborhoods and on the streets
outside of Ballou H.S. Ballou sits in PSA 706, which has 26 officers
assigned to it. There is one officer assigned to the Seventh District
who is trained to provide G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and
Training) and D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) training in the
schools. Finally, under Organizational Development, the Office of Youth
Violence Prevention provides crisis intervention, conflict resolution,
and other services (see Chart 2).
Chart 2. MPD's Organization for Security at Ballou High
Recommended Command and Control Structure
To say that there is a lack of unity in command and
control for Ballou school security is an understatement. It is essential
that a unity of command be established at Ballou High School to ensure
daily communication and coordination of efforts between MPD and WSA. It
is recommended that the WSA on-site personnel be placed under the
command of a MPD Sergeant who will be assigned to Ballou and work
on-site. The Sergeant will report directly to the Commander of the
Seventh District (see Chart 3). To increase supervision of school
security personnel, the MPD is exploring the use of the Guard Tour
System, an electronic verification system used to check the movement of
security personnel (see Appendix B).
Chart 3. Recommended Ballou H.S. Security Organization
Recommended WSA and MPD Staffing and Roles
The MPD Sergeant for Ballou will be charged with ensuring
that all personnel are performing their duties, that information is
being shared between staff and among units in MPD and DCPS, and that the
Ballou security team continues to evaluate the nature and extent of the
violence in and around Ballou and develop and implement plans to address
the causes of this violence. The Sergeant will routinely meet with the
Seventh District Commander to discuss issues, intelligence, planned
events, and external security needs. In summary. one person, a sergeant
of police will:
- Ensure that DC law and DCPS policy
regarding school security are enforced.
- Meet with the principal of the
school on a daily basis to discuss security issues.
- Work with the school administrative
staff to develop school procedures to address criminal activity and
- Work with school administrators to
develop early warning systems about potentially problematic students and
geographic areas in schools.
- Assist in identifying physical changes needed to reduce
crime in and around schools.
- Coordinate with MPD Intelligence
Unit to ensure that all intelligence information is exchanged.
- Direct and monitor all school
- Ensure all security equipment is
- Coordinate with student, teacher,
and parent hall monitors.
The staffing proposal is to increase the total security
staff at Ballou from fourteen to thirtyone people. This increase will
provide security during all hours of operation. This proposal will allow
the staffing of eleven posts throughout schools and roving patrols
inside and outside the school.
MPD has assigned three additional Seventh District
officers and one on-site sergeant to Ballou. In addition, the Seventh
District G.R.E.A.T./D.A.R.E training officer will be available to
support the safety plan at Ballou. In addition, we will look at shifting
the work site for the four officers assigned to the Metropolitan Police
Boys and Girls Club No. 11 to work afternoon hours at Ballou. Also, one
of the three newly assigned MPD officers will be designated to serve as
the liaison to the Washington Area Boys and Girls Club located at the
school (the Washington Area clubs have merged with the Police Boys and
Girls Clubs and works closely with Club No. 11).
MPD personnel, along with appropriate WSA employees, will
continue to perform traditional school security duties. In addition,
their role will include:
- Aggressively enforce the school's
rules and regulations, confiscating all contraband and bringing
violators to the school's discipline office.
- Bringing community policing to the
- Collecting and sharing criminal
intelligence with the MPD Intelligence Unit and the Seventh District.
- Using problem-solving methods in
working with students, teachers, and administrators.
- Expanding and enhancing police
involvement in peer mediation program.
- Assisting the PSA officers with
enforcing truancy laws.
The Youth Violence Intervention Team will continue to
work in the school with the School Resource Officers, Gang Task Force,
and Operation SAVE personnel. Their mission is to help reduce current tensions and identify and intervene
before personal conflicts escalate to violence.
It is important to note that this staffing plan is
specific to Ballou -- which still has a high risk for violence-and will
not necessarily be replicated at other schools. Since overseeing school
security requires reassigning MPD personnel from current posts, it is
critical that the plans be tailored to address the relative risk at
Table 1. Staffing by Agency
10 to 12
I Supervisor (unarmed)
I Senior School Resource Officer (unarmed)
13 School Resource Officers (unarmed)
3 Facility Security Officers (armed)
2 Youth Gang Taskforce (unarmed)
2 Operation SAVE (unarmed)
2 Investigator (1 armed)
2 School Resource Officers
5 School Resource Officers
12 to 14
Table 2. Proposed Staffing by Shift
It is recommended that this staffing plan be reassessed
after the additional physical security and policy improvements are made.
Improved technology, policy, and effective enforcement of policy may
allow a reduction in staffing.
Part II. Physical Security
Physical security refers to security measures taken to
maintain control of the Ballou Senior High School building and the
external area, which includes the parking lot, athletic fields, patio
areas, and adjacent streets. A plan for the physical security of Ballou
must address the following issues:
- Entry/Exit Points
- Entry-Control Procedures
- Weapons Detection Procedures
- Hall Monitoring/Patrol Procedures
- Communications System
- Duress Alarm System
- Surveillance System
- Control of Exterior Area
- Visibility of Security
In addition, to implement MPD's School Safety Plan, the
following equipment is needed:
- 4 magnetometers
- 3 x-ray machines
- 6 hand-held wands
- ID card reader for teacher's
- Computer system with a photo ID
- Cameras on doorways, with automatic
- MPD access to CCTV cameras
- Guard Tour System
A cost analysis for the equipment will need to be
The table below outlines the current systems and
procedures and the MPD recommendations to improve the physical security
Table 3. Current and Proposed Physical Security
11 exterior entranceways: 5 are used as access ways to the building
and 6 remain locked from both the inside and outside most of the time. The only exception is that the
doors to the auditorium are opened during special events. See Appendix C for a list of
entrances and their locations.
Students will not be permitted to gain access to the facility except
through the main entrance. A walkthrough was completed with D.C. Fire and DCRA to review
which doors would be installed with a delay egress system. See Appendix C for a detailed
description of the plan.
Many access points are not guarded.
Two security officers and three MPD officers will be positioned in
main lobby entrance all day. All other doors will be locked.
All students not immunized delaying the issuance of the student identification cards
Request a Mobile Medical Immunization Vehicle respond to Ballou Senior High School.
Establish an accurate and current list of students and issue identification cards.
At entrances with metal detectors, students are required to be scanned. However, students may
make unauthorized entrances at unguarded entrances.
Students and visitors entering the building will be required to enter at
guarded main entrance and to present valid photo identification or
school ID. Everyone will be required to pass through one of three metal detectors and put their
personal property through an adjacent x-ray machine.
Teachers enter at an unguarded entrance.
Teacher's entrance will be locked and equipped with an ID card reader for teacher's access.
Students without photo ID are issued a one-day paper pass with name and date, but without a
photo. (The passes are often transferred from one student to another allowing unauthorized
students in the school.)
Request change in school policy to eliminate one-day passes. A computer system with a photo ID
database should be established to allow security officers to identify
any student failing to provide an identification card. All students
without identification will be escorted to the main office, where a
new identification card will be created.
IDs of suspended and expelled students are confiscated and photos are made available to the security
staff; however, suspension policies are inconsistently enforced by the
Implement proposed policy changes and consistently enforce policy.
Unauthorized persons in building are subject to arrest. No person is
permitted on the campus without photo identification. All visitors
sign visitors log and report to the main office to get a visitors pass.
Visitors will be required to surrender their photo ID when they obtain a pass.
Three walk-through metal detectors: One at main entrance. One at student entrance with x-ray
machine. One at night school entrance. Two hand-held wands.
Students will be required to walk through one of three metal detectors
(magnetometers) and be scanned for weapons and illegal contraband by one of three x-ray machines at
the main entrance. One additional magnetometer and one x-ray machine will be at the night school
One x-ray machine, student entrance.
All parcels, bags and coats will be scanned through the x-ray machine.
No barriers around the magnetometers, so students and visitors could potentially bypass
Barriers to he erected around the x ray machine and magnetometers so
that students will not be able to avoid being screened.
Insufficient staff to monitor hallways. Students in the hallways must have a hall pass and violators
may be suspended or are returned to the classroom.
Increase security staff and place supervisor on site. Ensure constant
patrols to monitor hallways, restrooms, etc.
All security personnel and key school administrators are equipped with radios, however, the MPD
officers and the security officers are not on the same frequency so
they cannot communicate with each other. MPD officers try to station themselves near a security
officer so they have access to the radio communication.
All security personnel and key school administrators must be equipped with two-way radios
and/or cellular phones that allow for communication within the building and on campus.
Nothing in place currently.
Installation of delay egress doors.
53 CCTV cameras, listed as red circles on the floor plan, are monitored off campus at the
Central Command Center, but they are also displayed in the principal's
office and the security office. Recordings are made and archived for 14 days (but there was no
camera in the area of the shooting).
MPD will review positioning of cameras. Real-time CCTV camera footage will be made accessible to
the MPD's Joint Operations Command Center and when in operation, will be utilized under
existing MPD protocol. In addition, MPD will explore the use of cameras pointed at locked doors to
automatically photograph unauthorized entries.
|Control of Exterior Area
Armed officers patrol the parking lots, but are assigned inconsistently
(during the incident there was no armed guard in the south parking
Permanently assign one armed officer in north and one in south parking lot during school hours.
DPW assists with enforcement of parking violators on 4th Street.
Increase routine patrols on 4th street adjacent to the school, including
4th and Trenton and 4th and Savannah, and give increased attention to
suspicious subjects sitting in parked vehicles.
Conduct general patrols and designate foot/bicycle patrols for targeted areas to maintain order
maintenance and conduct zero tolerance enforcement activities. Staffing will be adjusted as needed.
Signs in front of school announcing increased penalties for drugs, alcohol, and weapons
violations. No signs prohibiting trespassing inside or outside school.
Posted signs warning that unauthorized trespassers are subject to arrest.
Post signs saying the building is monitored by video cameras.
MPD School Resource officers make themselves visible by being in the cafeteria or main lobby
when students enter the building, and by patrolling the building. MPD officers are present at school
assemblies and other events.
Increase the number of officers assigned to increase visibility.
Part Ill. School Security Policies and Procedures
An effective School Safety Plan must be supported by
school policies regarding discipline, conflict resolution, disrespectful
behavior, and similar issues. MPD proposes to review current DCPS
policies and research best practices in school security and violence
reduction over the next several weeks in order to prepare a more
In the meantime, the following policy issues should be
- Establish stronger disciplinary
administration, including designating one assistant principal to handle
all discipline matters in the school, better recordkeeping about
enrolled students and disciplinary actions against them, zero tolerance
enforcement of dress code policies (for example, no wearing of coats in
the building, no clothing with obscene words or pictures, no gang
- Establish a Closed Campus policy to
restrict students' coming and going from the building during the school
day, except in extenuating circumstances. Post no trespassing signs and
signage about video camera surveillance.
- Establish strict policies for
students suspended from attending classes. For example: students must
remain at home during the hours the school is in session unless
- Establish policy to issue all
suspended/expelled students a "barring notice" that requires
students to stay off all school properties, unless otherwise authorized.
- Implement computerized student
identification system that contains the students photo and schedule.
Issue student IDs annually, changing the color, and including a bar code
that is tied to the student's record. Eliminate one-day passes for
students who forget or lose their IDs and reissue photo ID immediately.
- Establish policies to limit and
control visitors' access, for example, holding the visitor's photo ID at
the registration desk.
- Establish a student and teacher hall
monitoring program and a Parents on Patrol (POPs) program.
- Establish two lunch periods in order
to reduce opportunities for conflicts between students.
- Establish policies and procedures for the registering
of all lockers, cutting of locks from unregistered lockers and removal
of contents. In addition, the school should notify parents and students
about locker policies, and conduct announced random locker inspections.
When possible, inspections should take place in the presence of the
student; otherwise, an inspection notice should be left in the locker.
- Conduct stricter enforcement of
- Establish a central office for DCPS,
MPD, and social work supervisors to be colocated in order to improve
coordination on school safety issues.
- Issue parking pen-nits for students and teachers that use
the school parking lot; the permits will require proof of valid vehicle
registration and inspection. In addition, the school should have
unauthorized vehicles towed at the owner's expense, with the appropriate warning signs posted in the lot.
- Restrict student attendance at school-sponsored
special events to students meeting academic or behavioral standards. At
the Friendship Edison Charter School in the Sixth District, for example,
students must have a 2.0 grade point average to attend special events.
Friendship also frequently exercises its authority to exclude outside
individuals from such events.
School safety is more than just securing the school's
physical property and grounds. In order to promote a true sense of
safety and security among students and staff, the school and community
must address many underlying issues that contribute to conflict and
violence in the lives of students at Ballou. To that end, many District
agencies and organizations are developing plans to ensure that students
and families have access to all available support. We also recommend
that the school and community partner with MPD on the following initiatives:
- Because threats to safety and security continually
evolve, an active school security partnership between parents, teachers,
students, administrators, and police must be developed and sustained to
address new challenges to safety and security.
- Rapid communication protocols will
be established to enable the Seventh District to notify the school and
all security personnel of criminal incidents occurring in the
neighborhood that may carry over into the school.
- The Clergy Police Community
Partnership, which provides intervention services to at-risk youth, will
work with the Ballou community to identify and address the underlying
causes of youth violence. The CPCP will spearhead this continuing effort
to foster communication and sustainable change in the community.
- The MPD's Domestic Violence Unit and
Special Program Development Group will partner with related
organizations to implement a program to help students handle violence in
relationships and families. At the same time, all staff, including
security officers, need to attend Domestic Violence Intervention
Training so that they can support students in learning how to stop the
cycle of violence.
- The MPD Office of Youth Violence Prevention Conflict
Prevention Team will work with students to help them learn to avert
conflict before it can escalate into violence. Again, all staff should
also become familiar with these techniques.
- Beyond dealing with and averting
conflict, the MPD Youth Problem-Solving Partnerships (YPSP) model should
be used to help students develop better problem-solving skills. The YPSP
program partners teams of youth with community organizers and mentors
who work together to plan and implement a project to help their
community. During the problem-solving process, youth: (1) learn and
practice leadership and team skills; (2) identify and analyze
community problems; and (3) develop and implement solutions to a
community problem. Long after the completion of their projects, program
participants will be able to apply these skills with their families,
among peers, and in their communities.
- The development of a stronger
conflict resolution and mediation program, modeled after best practices
in the U.S. and supported by training of school teachers,
administrators, counselors, and security personnel.
1. National Institute of Justice. The Appropriate and
Effective Use of Security Technologies in US. Schools: A Guide for
Schools and Law Enforcement Agencies. September 1999.
2. Fountain, John W. "Ward 8: After Long Slide, Hope
Peeks From Ruins," The Washington Post. May 28, 1998, pg. J 1.
3. Per Patrick Canavan, Director, Neighborhood Services.
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Government of the District of Columbia
Executive Office of the Mayor
Office of Communications
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
| CONTACT: TONY BULLOCK
Mayor Williams and MPD Chief Release Ballou Security Plan
Steps taken to revamp public safety at high school in Southeast
(Washington, DC) Today, DC Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey released a draft plan for enhancing security at Ballou Senior High School in Ward 8, in the wake of recent violence at the school. Mayor Williams and Chief Ramsey expect recommendations on the draft plan from the City Council, the School Board and interim District of Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Elfreda Massie.
"This security plan is custom designed for Ballou Senior High School," said Mayor Williams. "The plan calls for specific improvements and staffing recommendations for this facility. Our concept going forward will be to individually assess the security needs of our city's schools on a case-by-case basis and design and implement security plans that will work for each school."
Chief Ramsey said, "Our goal - and we're working hard at it - is to create a safe environment for students to learn at Ballou. This plan is a first step toward that goal."
Mayor Williams emphasized that the draft security plan relies on cooperation from DCPS, the Council and the community. And, going forward, implementing the plan requires cooperation from all parties to ensure that the students and the Ballou community have a safe learning environment in which they can thrive.
"We have to do more than just beef up security," said Mayor Williams. "We can't just throw more cops and money at the problem and think that we have done the job. We need to address the root causes of the violence that plagues our schools. We need to involve social workers, teachers, community leaders, parents and clergy."
For the full text of the plan, please visit the MPD Web site at: http://mpdc.dc.gov/main.shtm
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District of Columbia Public Schools
W. Massie, Ph.D., Interim Superintendent
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Weekends/Evenings (202) 727-6161
PUBLIC SCHOOLS LEADER RESPONDS TO MPD’S
PLAN TO TAKE OVER SCHOOL SECURITY
Superintendent Massie Favors Working With MPD, But Doesn’t Support
Washington, DC – District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Interim
Superintendent Elfreda W. Massie today offered her response to the
Metropolitan Police Department’s proposal to Mayor Anthony A. Williams
to overhaul security efforts in DCPS schools.
“Our responsibility as a school system is to provide safe
and secure environments that support the academic needs of our
students,” said Dr. Massie.“ To
add to an education environment additional police officers who carry
weapons and have the authority to arrest students, does not address the
problems that cause violence in our communities, neighborhoods and
schools. Our schools are not
beats, and our students are not criminals.”
“Our parents reasonably are requesting schools that are
safe for their children. The plan presented to the Mayor by MPD does not
deal with the issues that are at the root of violent behavior in this
city, such as the lack of employment opportunities for parents and
students, substance and drug abuse in our neighborhoods, easy access to
guns and the lack of recreational facilities and after-school sports
“We need to address the academic, social, emotional and
mental health issues of our students and families. We know that many adolescents display behaviors in school that
are a direct result of their inability to cope with negative situations
in their lives. There are
issues surrounding child psychology and adolescent behavior that are
unique in a school setting. I have a real concern that police officers
may have an inclination to arrest students who display aberrant
behaviors rather than use appropriate prevention and intervention
“We are not abdicating our significant responsibilities,
and I support working with the MPD. But the proposed plan appears to be a band-aid approach that does
not address the needs of this city or this school system. MPD officers were at both Anacostia and Senior High Schools
when the tragic shootings occurred this school year, and their presence
did not deter these violent crimes.”
“We have developed plans for high schools, including Ballou Senior High School, to
improve leadership and management, increase student attendance, provide
more rigor in the academic program, and improve discipline and behavior
management. The escalating
presence of violence in today’s schools requires a unique,
collaborative approach to adequately address this issue.”
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