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Safe Schools Unit



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