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Safe Schools Unit


Prevention; Ages 6–17


(Read the criteria for these ratings)

Promising gang structure

Promising delinquency structure


The Safe Schools Unit of the San Diego County, California, Office of Education operates a comprehensive school safety program in which gang problems are a major priority. The school safety activities extend beyond school security and address staff training and development needs associated with gang-related problems and the prevention of them, mainly through a Violence Prevention/Intervention (VPI) team. Direct services include prescriptive pull-out services on gang prevention and intervention and youth violence prevention and intervention. The VPI team operates a Rapid Response Unit that will assist any school during a crisis situation. Schools are assisted in the development of comprehensive safety plans. In addition to school safety policies, procedures, and crisis response protocols, these plans include providing gang and violence training for teachers, students, and parents. This comprehensive approach—along with many other factors, including funding for after-school programs, conflict resolution, and other prevention efforts—and a history of multiagency partnerships has kept San Diego schools relatively safe. Reported crimes in county schools are significantly lower than the statewide averages for crimes against persons categories.

Risk Factors

Antisocial/delinquent beliefs
General delinquency involvement
High alcohol/drug use
Illegal gun ownership/carrying
Physical violence/aggression
Violent victimization
Frequent truancy/absences/suspensions; expelled from school; dropping out of school
Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school
Poor school attitude/performance; academic failure
Poor student-teacher relations
Poorly defined rules and expectations for appropriate conduct
Poorly organized and functioning schools/inadequate school climate/negative labeling by teachers
Unsafe schools
Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency
Association with gang-involved peers/relatives
Peer rejection


National Gang Center: Promising program structure


Mr. Anthony Ceja
Student Support Services Department
San Diego County Office of Education
6401 Linda Vista Road, Room 315
San Diego, CA 92111-7399
Phone: (858) 569-5442
E-mail: [email protected]

Date Created: April 7, 2021