Schools, mental health and law enforcement look at school safety

Inyo Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer brings officials together for a renewed look at school security.

Inyo Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer brings officials together for a renewed look at school security.

The shocking murder of 20 children and six adults at Newtown Connecticut’s Sandy Hook school urged school officials in the Eastern Sierra to take another look at school security and mental health issues.

Tuesday, Inyo County Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer will hold a meeting on school safety plans with local law enforcement, mental health and school officials. McAteer said that along with several school superintendents and principals, Inyo Mental Health Director Gail Zwear would attend, along with Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze and Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter.

McAteer said all the schools have safety plans, but the Connecticut shootings made everyone wonder if they are doing everything possible. Said McAteer, “We want to respond in a proactive manner. It makes you look again.” Officials will look at the susceptibility of local school campuses to intruders, and they will consider whether they are identifying youths who need help.

Before the Connecticut tragedies, McAteer said Inyo and Mono Schools received a California Department of Mental Health grant which created North Star Counseling in centers at Bishop Elementary and Mammoth High schools. McAteer said 100 local families are receiving weekly counseling right now.

The Superintendent said a lot of these people were not getting services either because they couldn’t afford it or their problems were not severe enough to get county mental health services. North Star charges $35 a hour and some get free services with vouchers handed out at local schools.

McAteer said after the Columbine High School shootings 13 years ago, school officials concentrated on high school students. Now, they are looking earlier at elementary and middle-school kids who are “truly troubled. Those who are bullied. The loners or angry kids.”

Tuesday’s meeting will focus on mental health services but also on what law enforcement has learned about campus security. McAteer said later his office will organize a series of community forums to share school safety plans with concerned parents and families.

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former mono resident
former mono resident
8 years ago

Although I have not lived in Mono County for some time, I do follow the news via Sierra Wave. It seems very interesting that no one on this blog, or even President Obama, has mentioned increasing the penalty for using a gun in the commission of a crime. None of… Read more »

Dingo
Dingo
8 years ago

I like what Larry The Cable Guy said “guns don’t kill people, husbands that come home early kill people”

Jeremiah's Alter Ego
Jeremiah's Alter Ego
8 years ago

Salblaster I agree! Doing nothing is the worse thing we collectively could do right now. You know why we haven’t as a nation been rid of the high capacity magazines?? because the manufacture that produces them is one of the NRA’s biggest donor if not the biggest. So if the… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

…and also what the Repub’s and tea-baggers want is to allow access to anyone the ability to buy not only assault rifles, but to buy anytype of firearm…with no background check at all….and with no waiting period… and try to spin it saying President Obama wants to take EVERYONE’S guns… Read more »

Machine guns are banned
Machine guns are banned
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

The president offially banned assault weapons (machine guns).
Perhaps a kinder, saner America will be the result.
It’s protecting the kids.

Machine Guns and Americana
Machine Guns and Americana
8 years ago

Salblaster, Agreed. Unfortunately, there are those who believe THIS about machine guns (which is what Automatic rifles actually are): “When machine guns are outlawed – only outlaws will have machine guns!” (as they wave the flag). I think these are the same people who think Michele Bachmann should have been… Read more »

salblaster
salblaster
8 years ago

for a while now i’ve been reconsidering my position on gun control, then with the connecticut school shootings i’m realizing theres a big problem with all semi automatic weapons. I’ve grown up in the gun culture starting with shooting my first pheasant at age 12 back when fish and game… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Remember when all our father figures told us to fight back? They still should.

Jeremiah's Alter Ego
Jeremiah's Alter Ego
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Culture Change bigtime since those days Trouble, I was talking about this last night with a big gun supporter/Vietnam Veteran and he was talking about taking his gun to school with a permission slip stating he was rabbit shooting after school so it allowed him to bring it. That isn’t… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Jeremiah’s Alter Ego- times have changed, now the poor get fat. Facts are this country has become poorer ,weaker in almost every sense, less respected, and imprisons a higher percentage of it’s people than any country in the world. My grandfather always went out of his way to say it’s… Read more »

Jeremiah's Alter Ego
Jeremiah's Alter Ego
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Yes, the poor get fat, and year after year we keep setting these unsustainable precedents. Yes a majority of this country is getting poorer and weaker because our legislators make their laws in conjunction to the big donors best interest and not what is best for the American people, FACT!… Read more »