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TUSD taking steps to improve school safety
TUSD pic
Vince Hooper talks about the changes in security he's seen at Medeiros Elementary School during a Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

Parents who were outraged at the lack of security at their child’s elementary school site in December are now working with the district to create a school safety plan.

Turlock resident and local law enforcement officer Vince Hooper, who videotaped himself walking around campus in December at Medeiros Elementary pointing out the lack of security, voiced his safety concerns and his appreciation of steps already taken to trustees at Tuesday's Turlock Unified School District board meeting.

“There are certain issues that the district needs to follow up on,” he said.  “I appreciate the efforts the district is doing to improve our children’s safety.  There are more supervisors on campus and the gates are now being locked.”

Vince Hooper and his wife, Lori Hooper, will be working in conjunction with the District officials, Turlock Police Department and Fire Department as part of a safety committee to develop an efficient safety plan for all school sites within the district.

The new school safety committee is scheduled to meet with Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson on Feb. 4 to finalize a safety plan for the district.

"We’ve already started the tour around school sites to see where we could improve school safety," said TUSD Superintendent Sonny DaMarto. 

Trustee Frank Lima added his own suggestions during the board meeting on how to improve school safety.

“It’s a no brainer,” he said.  “We should require every staff to carry a badge with an identification picture while they are on campus.  We should be able to identify who should and should not be on our campus.  It’s going to take a lot of little things like that to make sure our sites are as safe as they could possibly be.”

The Turlock Journal filed a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the current school site safety plan on Jan. 11. TUSD has yet to allow access to the information requested.