The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark, Union City and asked of all candidates for this office.
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||1. (Safe Schools) What does "Safe Schools" means to you; what needs to be done to provide them?
Answer from Michael Ritchie:
Safe schools means that reasonable efforts have been taken to protect students from a wide variety of potential areas of harm, including fellow students, employees or other adults, natural and man-made disasters and criminal activity. Through careful training and preparation, school institutions can provide a high-level of safety to students. Teachers and staff, supported by district and site administration, must make clear the importance of mutual respect for all students, no matter race, gender, religious preference or sexual orientation. School personnel must enforce zero tolerance for bullying behavior (physical, written, verbal or electronic/cyber) and quickly address any threats of harm. Safe schools also means that children are taught and understand how to identify and respond to bullying or abusive behavior and consequently have "tools" available to them to thwart occurrences from other students or even adults. Safe schools include structures that meet up-to-date earthquake and safety codes. Finally, safe schools means that students are periodically trained via drills on emergency response, including natural disasters, fires, explosive threats, intruders, unrest or power outages.
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