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Pleasanton school leaders: Schools are safe

Original post made on Dec 20, 2012

In the wake of last week's school shooting in Connecticut, the Pleasanton school district and school administrators are doing their best to let both parents and students know that schools here are safe, both physically and emotionally.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 20, 2012, 7:34 AM

Comments (39)

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

I can't comment on the safety procedures district-wide, as I have no knowledge of them. So I will speak from my own experience when I was the librarian at Foothill High.

One of my aides and I were locking up the library at the end of a school day when we heard an alert over the PA system. We later learned that the Pleasanton police were in pursuit of an armed man who had ditched his car in front of the school and they were pursuing him on foot across campus. In fact, my aide, the 20 or so kids who were still in the library, and I all saw several members of the Pleasanton PD running across campus, guns drawn.

We did what we were supposed to do according to safety protocol: my aide and I took the kids back into the library, locked the front doors, turned off all the lights, and moved the kids into the back area of the library, behind the book stacks. In other words, we were not visible from the outside and made the library look deserted. We had our students sit on the floor, by the fire exit door. That door is a steel door and cannot be opened from the outside. We told the students that if we heard someone force entry into the building, they were to immediately exit through that fire door and run across the football field to the nearest house...and not to look back or stop, no matter what.

After 45 minutes or so, our office staff (who remained exposed to danger the entire time--but that's the kind of wonderful folks they've always had on Foothill's classified staff)--sounded the all-clear.

Most teachers who were still at school that day did the same: they gathered up the students and locked them inside their classrooms, lights off, away from the windows.

It was afterwards that my aide and I discovered a few things that troubled us:

1. Some teachers heard the alert and ignored it because it was the end of the day and they wanted to go home. They didn't gather up the students who were gathered outside their classrooms and lock them inside; they got in their cars and drove home. The administration never disciplined these teachers. Many of them were the same teachers who also deserted their students when there was a genuine fire alarm in another school year. That fire alarm sounded at the end of the school day, so these teachers just shrugged and drove home, leaving other teachers to evacuate their students to the football field. As to why this group of teachers is considered "special" and "untouchable"...well, ask the school's and the district's administrators.

2. Some teachers reported they never heard either the original alert nor the all-clear, and were confused about what was going on. They reported this to the administration at Foothill High and to the district administration. The administration never invested the money to make the PA system audible on all parts of the campus, even after this incident. A number of teachers were very concerned about the failure of the PA system, and even moreso by the administration's failure to correct the problem once it became apparent.

I would urge all parents who are concerned about their students' safety to ensure that each campus not only has procedures in place, but runs drills on those procedures (Foothill High administration did drill us on fire and "shelter in place" emergencies) and, most of all, that the PA system is AUDIBLE on ALL parts of the campus. This is particularly important at the larger campuses, such as Amador and Foothill.

In other words, don't assume "this is Pleasanton, and we are safe". Take Ronald Reagan's advice and "trust, but verify".

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

I agree that drills need to be practiced to save lives. Excellent recommendation.

As for the teachers who split, I don't know what to think.

I would have a very difficult putting my life at risk for others, young or old.

There are always heroes, I'm not one.


Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:10 am

The true heroes on the day that gunman was on our campus were the Pleasanton cops, who could have been ambushed if this guy decided to make a stand, and the Foothill High front office staff, who stayed at their posts, exposed to danger the whole time. Anybody who has been to Foothill High knows that one side of the administration office is glass, and the office staff were visible the whole time.

A couple of years afterwards, some of those same office staff members lost their jobs because Pleasanton voters couldn't "afford" a 75 cent a day increase in their property taxes (a parcel tax). These are the same Pleasanton residents who drive the latest model of Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus, spend $20 a day for Starbucks coffee, and own a second home in Puerto Vallarta or the US Virgin Islands, though. But that last 75 cents a day was a dealbreaker for some reason.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

Why should I give 75cents a day to a bunch of union thugs and liberal loons who can't even take fire alarms seriously? Thats the most ridiculous thing 've ever heard. Some one's got a screw loose. This is the best reason I've ever heard for why unions should be busted. They protect the lazy and the cowardly who'd rather go to Starbucks then lead kids out to the football field.


Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

And just one more thing: the front office staff who risked their necks that day are the same classified employees who haven't had a raise in five years. But the Board saw fit to promote Luz Cazares to Deputy Superintendent and give her a raise while they only offer the classified employees more work for less pay. And of course APT President Peggy Carpenter supports the Board and the district administration in this.

If there's ever a genuine "school shooting" on Pleasanton campus--and I hope that will NEVER happen--it's those same undervalued, underpaid classified employees who have been treated so disrespectfully by the Board, by Superintendent Ahmadi, and by Deputy Superintendent Luz Cazares who will be asked to risk their lives to save the lives of Pleasanton's kids. Just one more reason I have lost all respect for the Gang of Three on the Board, Ms. Ahmadi, Luz, and Peggy Carpenter. They ask a lot from their employees but make no sacrifices on their behalf. Luz and Ahmadi haven't given up any of their pay or perks while the teachers, classified staff, and kids still suffer from the budget cuts of the past 5 years.

I'd say "shame on them" but apparently they all got innoculated against feeling that particular emotion.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

Typical union mental-ity from Daniel. Give us a 5% raise and maybe we'll do the job we're paid to do when there is a crisis. This kind of thinking is why unions are dying across the country.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

Most of the whiners like Steve aren't concerned about the safety and welfare of children and their teachers/staff. It boils down to money, money, money, and his duplicity.

The folks that voted against the 75cents have no idea or concern re: how children have been put at risk. And, they don't care. If anyone on the blog has a loose screw, it's Steve Wonder!

Folks like Steve are often waaaaaaaaaaay unhappy, angry, lonely, depressed, and feel cheated. po-po baby...

In addition, he only has one vote. He can't prevent much of anything that happens and has an enormous sense of helplessness. I have a sense that he is also socially isolated and unable to satisfy his emotional needs. In short, he is a lonely and hateful girly guy!

BUSTED!




Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:58 am

Is Steve the "fella" that hangs out in unusual sheer clothing at home?

hmmmmmmmmmmm...just asking

BUSTED!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

the son was the mother's Manchurian Candidate!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"A couple of years afterwards, some of those same office staff members lost their jobs because Pleasanton voters couldn't "afford" a 75 cent a day increase in their property taxes (a parcel tax). These are the same Pleasanton residents who drive the latest model of Mercedes, BMW, or Lexus, spend $20 a day for Starbucks coffee, and own a second home in Puerto Vallarta or the US Virgin Islands, though. But that last 75 cents a day was a dealbreaker for some reason."

Daniel, I am sorry that some staff members bumped other staff members, without consideration of performance, who then lost their jobs. I am sorry that in the second attempt the governance team did not even consider using specific language for the tax. I'm sorry the previous administration showed no fiscal restraint and put the district in a far more precarious predicament than the bad economy did. I don't own any of the cars you mentioned or go to Starbucks or own a second home. I continue to donate more than the first tax request3ed directly to the classroom because I am committed to education--I'm just not silly enough to reward those who think taxpayers have pockets so deep their requests for more are unlimited and require no restraint.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

That's exactly my point, Kathleen. And its good the taxpayers have you looking after they're welfare. First they ask for 75 cents, and then five years later they jack it up to 85 cents, and then before you know it our kids and grandkids are facing over a dollar a day. Its endless pockets into oblivion.

Too bad life is so unfair because the unions insist on putting seniority over those teachers who read the Constitution. They fire the patriots and then let the lazy old ones hang out and drool their liberal loon dribble.


Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

If only the anti-parcel tax folks had all articulated understandable reasons for voting against the tax (they don't trust the PUSD administration to spend it wisely, etc), I could have some sympathy for their view.

But most of the anti-parcel tax voters articulated (and I use the word "articulated" loosely) a free-floating animus for public employees and particularly those who are unionized. Example: "I don't care about anything except BREAKING THE UNIONS. NO MORE MONEY UNTIL THEY DISSOLVE THE UNIONS. UNIONS ARE COMMUNIST AND EVIL" and blah blah blah.

The most precious moment of the first campaign to pass the parcel tax was the Pleasanton mom who had just climbed out of a Mercedes SUV and, with a $7 Starbucks crappuccino in one hand, kept waving her hand at me as she explained why her family just couldn't "afford" $98 a day...and the hand she was waving at me had a diamond ring on it that I conservatively estimate at a $30,000 price tag. The whole thing would have been comical if the ramifications weren't so dire.

But yes, the classified employees and teachers of PUSD have been let down by the Gang of Three on the Board, selfish rich people in the community, the PUSD administration, and even their own unions (especially true in the case of the APT, since they now have two successive presidents, Knaggs and Carpenter, who are openly collaborating with the administration). The employees of PUSD deserve better, but thanks to all of the folks I just listed, things will only get worse.

As far as promoting Luz Cazares to Deputy Superintendent: nothing good will come of it. Setting aside the fact that Luz got a raise at a time when classified employees have seen stagnant wages for five years in a row, Luz has NO experience in designing curriculum and has NEVER taught in the classroom herself. Luz doesn't hold any degree that is even remotely tied to the field of education. The best case scenario is that Luz has just negotiated this new title and raise for herself as a bargaining chip so that she can get an even bigger salary when she finally flees to San Ramon. But given the poor decisions of the Gang of Three on the Board and Ms. Ahmadi, I doubt that Luz's replacement would have any qualification except one: she/he will know how to shut up and play along.

I never was that good at that.

Same blind hatred that informed the very bad decision of the Kastlewood Kountry Klub to lock out their unionized employees. How did that turn out for them? Not so good. Turns out the KKK was breaking the law and bargaining in bad faith the whole time, and after a long, bitter and unnecessary struggle, the unionized folks won their fight.


Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

See what happens when you switch to decaf?

I wrote: "she explained why her family just couldn't "afford" $98 a day"

I meant to write: "she explained why her family just couldn't "afford" $98 a YEAR"

$98 a day *would* be excessive! $98 a year is actually 27 cents a day. This mom of two Foothill students was holding a Starbucks in her hand that would have paid for 26 days of the "exorbitant" parcel tax.

But..thanks to the Gang of Three (aka the Gang That Can't Shoot Straight), Superintendent Ahmadi, Deputy Superintendent Cazares, and APT President Carpenter, a parcel tax is a dead issue in Pleasanton now and forever.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Oh, oh. Kathleen showed up. The words "parcel tax" in a discussion thread always seem to make her magically appear faster than Batman when Commissioner Gordon turns on his bat-light beacon.

Well, I had better sign-off. Don't want to be accused of "cyber-bullying".

;-)


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Sam, I just lost the respect I once had for you. It's people like you who enable bullies by cheering them on. It hasn't been Kathleen who has accused anyone of cyberbullying, but me. I know Kathleen and am trying to stick up for my friend for what I see as a multi-year effort to harass her, even though her and I disagree on some politics. It's disgusting and your comments are unhelpful.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"If only the anti-parcel tax folks had all articulated understandable reasons for voting against the tax (they don't trust the PUSD administration to spend it wisely, etc), I could have some sympathy for their view."

Daniel Bradford, they did! And every time they did they were accused of teacher bashing or going on a witchhunt. You are disingenuous, Mr. Bradford.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Please Mr. Bradford, tell us how the words on this website is attacking teachers and unions and not laying out understandable reasons for voting against the tax! Web Link


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Daniel, I don't recall "most" of the anti-tax people making it about the unions. It was bad management. And just because someone "has" doesn't mean they should throw good money after bad. People are giving in other more direct ways.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Let's not deny that there have been some outspoken anti-union rhetoric here by those who feel disinhibited and deindividuated by the anonymity afforded to anyone here. To me, it's been yet another argument in favor of requiring registration to post.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen's most consistent message on why she voted against the parcel taxes was due to the lack of specific language because, hey, she didn't trust the administration to spend the money wisely so wanted legal language to bind them to how money gets spent. And this message appears on the anti-tax campaign's front page of their website. Yet according to Mr. Bradford, "most" of the anti-tax people made it about unions rather than not trusting the administration to spend it wisely. Go figure!


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Stacey wrote: "Sam, I just lost the respect I once had for you. It's people like you who enable bullies by cheering them on. It hasn't been Kathleen who has accused anyone of cyberbullying, but me. I know Kathleen and am trying to stick up for my friend for what I see as a multi-year effort to harass her, even though her and I disagree on some politics. It's disgusting and your comments are unhelpful."

Sorry, Stacey. It was just an off-the-cuff joke and I didn't know that I touched a nerve. For what it's worth, I don't agree with the so-called "cyberbullier" and thought he was a bit off his rocker. His posts were too long and rambling for me to follow, and I doubt that most people actually read much of them. Frankly, I think that you should have just ignored him.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm

The cyberbully is what happens when the socialists don't get there way. He likes to read himslef and likes the sound of his words. Just like Obama. And I never read anything that is so long, and he's definately off his rocker. I think us like minded thinkers should stick together. Kathleen posts not for herself, but for the taxpayers. Stacey posts not for herslef but to defend Kathleen. I guess you could say they are both really selfless. And most of the time we disagree with Sam, Daniel, and the other communists. Tee hee hee.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Stacey wrote: "Kathleen's most consistent message on why she voted against the parcel taxes was due to the lack of specific language because, hey, she didn't trust the administration to spend the money wisely so wanted legal language to bind them to how money gets spent."

Kathleen's problem is that she doesn't seem to realize that what she wants is totally ridiculous and unreasonable. (Or, as I've come to suspect, maybe she does realize that it is totally ridiculous and unreasonable despite its initial appearance and, therefore, makes a perfect "red herring").

It's very simple: You either (a) trust the administration to do the right things or (b) you do not trust the administration to do the right things. If you trust the administration to do the right thing, you stand out of their way and let them do their jobs. If you don't trust the administration to do the right thing, then you need to remove them and replace them with people who you do trust - AND then you stand out of their way and let them do their jobs.

Kathleen's problem is that she doesn't understand that the only choices are (a) or (b). (Or, again, maybe she does). No, instead she professes to want some imaginary option (c): Leave people she doesn't trust in charge BUT try to completely control them with detailed rules and regulations designed to micro-manage their behavior. Yeah, that will work.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Is Sam the nifarious cyberbully? Sure seems like it the way he makes fun of Kathleen. Surely we can have every site turned into a parcel tax debate and still get along?


Posted by None of the Above, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Hello all, can you please keep the conversation to the topic, school safety.

Oh, and please play nice.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

On topic, if the schools are safe, why was there a police presence on campuses this week? Why are the front entrances being protected, but not access through any other area of a campus? What happens after the break?

I believe schools do a lot to keep students safe; could they do more, certainly. The sad truth is that a very determined person(s) can harm any of us at home, at work, at school. I would agree with those who say this isn't just about weapons.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sam said: "(b) you do not trust the administration to do the right things. . . . If you don't trust the administration to do the right thing, then you need to remove them and replace them with people who you do trust" You make that sound so simple. As you recall, there was no election this time, so the part voters can control wasn't available. Thus you cannot change anything within the organization. If the goal is to support the classroom, (c) may be the only solution.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

And what's (C) again? "try to completely control them with detailed rules and regulations designed to micro-manage their behavior." And Kathleen says "it [C] may be the only solution."

Yes, I'm with you Kathleen. Let's make them really paranoid so that they're afraid to use their discretion and creativity for fear of angering the small, self-aggrandizing minority out there who are set to pounce and nitpick anything and everything. You know, make them circle their wagons and keep the public out, because they're afraid they'll get raked over the coals by the witches standing outside the school gates.

Yes, nothing like having an active public to help teachers and administrators do what the public says they're supposed to do. Upshot: paralysis and/or secrecy -- the stuff of war. Keep giving them heck, Kathleen. It's for us taxpayers that you so sacrifice yourself with your selfless vigilance.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Steve, these discussions were had before. I don't want to micromanage. I'd love to have not had one administration take the district in the ditch and for the current to have learned at least some of the lessons to be found there. Those nits were pretty darn big; you can find the dollar amounts talked about over the past several years.

There are solid districts up and down the state that have the trust of their communities and who are successful on all levels including needed funding requests without specific language. We were that community once and passed unification and two facilities bonds. I supported all three of those campaigns.

Can't recall ever advocating for telling teachers what to do. My beef with the governance team has and continues to be with regard to the financial side of the house. Squeaky wheels are annoying, but they squeak because there is a problem.


Posted by Pleasanton Teacher, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

Wow. We really can't have a discussion about our schools without it turning into a gripe-fest about parcel taxes. Back to the topic of the post. I am currently a teacher in town, so in this forum I wish to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. I know Daniel and respect him and I wish he was still with us. The simple fact is that the district is telling the truth and lying at the same time. The truth is that Pleasanton IS a safe place... in general. So was Newtown. The likelihood of a serious attack on our schools is low. Very, very low. However, it seems that our Superintendent was completely oblivious to the very real lapses in our campus communications and that is unacceptable. At a recent meeting, representatives from EVERY school in the district voiced concerns about safety procedures. Many have issues with PA's not working, leaving some teachers completely unaware of emergency situations. This MUST be addressed immediately. I agree with Daniel that teachers who don't comply with procedures must be accountable. This has nothing to do with unions, and everything to do with incompetent management. Let's hope something like Sandy Hook never happens here. Not just because it would be utterly terrible, but because we're frankly not as prepared for something like that as we should be.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

The schools are not safe. You can walk on campus easily anytime. Don't let anybody from the schools fool you on them being safe.


Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

I'm not surprised that the administration is ignoring teachers, classified staff, and site administrators on the issue of safety. The administration ignores them on *every* issue and does exactly what a handful of them decide to do. Administrators sometimes listened to teachers during the Casey Administration; when Ms. Ahmadi and Luz Cazares teamed up to run the district, the first thing they did was to shut down all lines of communication. They have made it quite clear that the only point of view that matters is theirs. I prefer a more open style, as I think gathering information from multiple sources leads to better decision-making, but I'm only a lowly librarian with 22 years of experience in education, not a brilliant administrator like Parvin Ahmadi and Luz Cazares. I'm sure they know best.

If I had a kid in Pleasanton schools, I'd verify for myself that my child's school not only has safety procedures in place but that the PA systems are working. A working PA system is crucial to safety plans, and especially the one designed to cope with armed intruders on campus. Foothill and Amador have wide-open campuses, as we all know, and an armed intruder can easily get into either school. Whatever it costs, get those PA systems sound-checked and fully operational ASAP if they're not already.

Pleasanton is a very safe community, and Pleasanton kids are very fortunate that they grow up in a town that provides that environment for them. The odds of a gunman shooting up a Pleasanton school are not great, but I don't agree with the administration that all Pleasanton schools have functioning safety equipment or the people to implement them. And just to clear up any misunderstandings: on the day I described in my first comment, all of the classified staff and almost all of the teachers did their jobs that day. So did the principals who were there after school. So did the Pleasanton police. It was just a handful of teachers who operate with their own set of rules: not only did they ignore their responsibilities for safety, but they also refuse to show up for the extracurricular assignments (such as chaperoning dances and taking money for tickets at sporting events) that all teachers are contractually obligated to do.

How do they get away with it? The administration at Foothill certainly has never disciplined them. You'll have to ask the site and district administrators why some teachers are considered "untouchable" and "outside the rules". And no, it's not the fault of the unions: this same group of teachers hate the APT, since they've made it clear that they don't need union protection and the monthly dues they pay are "wasted" from their point of view. These teachers (and again, they are only a handful among Foothill High's excellent teaching staff) seem to be protected at every level. However, I've worked in several organizations, both public and private, in my life, and I've observed that *every* organization has some "Good Ole Boys" who are not held to the same standard as others (including my current employer). Just human nature, I suppose.




Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Dec 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

NRA wants armed guards in every classroom. Some ten-foot walls with barbed wire atop them might also be nice. Also, students, teachers, staff and parents should be required to take a mental competency test once a week. All crossing guards should be armed; every gated community should have machine gun turrets to ward off those who have no respect for the authority of the gun.


Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm

"Under the plan announced at news conference Friday by NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, the NRA will sponsor a team of security experts to develop a model school safety plan."

I think that another good idea would be for the NRA to sponsor a student contest titled "My School Security Plan". Kids could use crayons and colored pens to draw big poster pictures of their ideal secure school, with drawings of barbed wire, 10-foot high walls, missile-armed patrol robots, attack dogs, commando guards armed with sniper rifles, minefields, and alligator filled moats with drawbridges. Winning students would get lifetime NRA membership certificates personally presented by NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre.


Posted by NS Sherlock, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Dec 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

May be things have changed but when I went to FHS - NOBODY listened to the librarian.


Posted by Eric C., a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

In an effort to completely bore everyone with a response that will neither attack parcel tax proponents, chastise the union base within the educational system nor bring class envy/warfare into the discussion, I have to actually agree with Mr. Bradford on one item.

The current technology deployed by the majority of school districts (also healthcare, commercial office & retail space) for their public address/mass notification & emergency announcement systems are indeed horribly incapable of sending out specifically zoned, targeted and audibly clear announcements in critical situations to all the occupants. The majority of current PA systems & fire alarm systems are not compliant with the latest fire alarm and signaling code requirements mandated by NFPA 72 regulations. All this techno-babble basically states that emergency announcements must be a specific volume level above the ambient noise in any given area and must be audibly and vocally intelligible. If you have ever heard the majority of PA announcements at most schools, office buildings or retail spaces you can get an idea as to what is lacking in the ability to clearly understand every word relayed through the system. Aside from voice announcements new regulations will also require the ability to communicate threat situations, shelter in place and evacuation orders to students via SMS & text messages as well as taking control of any display device (TV, computer, digital message board etc.) to relay these messages. The technology to accomplish this is already here but unfortunately it ain't cheap and we all know how much we just LOVE to put money into our schools so you can only imagine what kind of priority this gets in budget considerations. OK, so I took ONE stab at the parcel tax issue, sorry.

The sad thing is that a good deal of these new mandates have only been enacted as a response to the violence that has recently plagued our schools, workplaces and other public access areas and don't really do anything to stem or stop the would-be douchebag from inflicting harm, just minimize their impact.

That ends our technology lesson for today, you may now continue with your regularly scheduled trolling and name calling.

Merry Christmas!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm

nobody listens to you either Miss Sherlock...tee hee hee


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm

To: NR Sherlock - oops...i meant to say now everybody knows why you sell Chicklets on the street...


Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm

New PA systems that are 100% effective would be expensive. But maybe the cabinet-level administrators in PUSD, such as Superintendent Ahmadi and Deputy Superintendent Cazares, will demonstrate their commitment to student safety by donating 10% of their salaries to a fund designated to upgrade the systems at all schools?

Haha, just kidding! They'll take the money out of the salaries of the teachers and the classified staff or by laying off more people who actually work with children. Or just keep repeating the phrase "Pleasanton schools are safe" until the public forgets all about the Sandy Hook massacre (which should a week from now at most) and it's back to Business As Usual.


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