Friday, April 15, 2011

MEDIA ADVISORY -- Bell Middle School Hosts Safe Passage Program News Conference

Reporters and editors: Here's a news release for an event happening at one
of our schools next week. Please contact those listed on the release for

Jack Brandais
Communications Department
San Diego Unified School District
(619) 725-5570 (Desk)
(619) 607-0477 (Cell)

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Safe Passage Program Tackles Dangerous Canyon and Other Safety Concerns at
Bell Middle School

Community leaders, elected officials and students gather for start of canyon
clearing program that creates jobs and improves student and fire safety

Eric Collins (619) 886-1730
Tim McClain (619) 694-6293

WHAT: Community leaders gather at Bell Middle School to kick off a canyon
cleanup project and celebrate the progress of the Safe Passage program: a
unique multi-agency partnership designed to protect students from violence,
gangs, harassment and other criminal activity within the immediate perimeter
of the campus.

WHEN: Monday, April 18, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Canyon entrance from parking lot of Bell Middle School at 620
Briarwood Road, San Diego, 92139-1302.

WHO: Supervisor Ron Roberts, San Diego Unified School District
Superintendent Bill Kowba, Principal Michael Dodson, SDPD Captain Tony
McElroy, Urban Corps CEO Sam Duran, Urban Corps youth, students and local

WHY: In the fall of 2010, a partnership consisting of representatives from
the school, the community, and several city and county agencies developed a
comprehensive action-oriented approach to boost safety around the campus.
Among the significant accomplishments:

-- Implementing student surveys and community assessments designed to
pinpoint and quickly address potential safety issues near the school

-- Utilizing the Crime Free Multi-Housing program to identify, solve and
prevent nuisance activities from occurring in apartment communities located
near the school

-- Conducting a Walk Audit to identify the issues that could impact
pedestrian and bicyclist safety for students and residents living around the

-- Enlisting the Urban Corps and using San Diego Workforce Partnership youth
job training funds to clean up and restore the canyon path that students
access everyday ((The thick brush in the canyon has become a serious fire
hazard. Students have also spotted drug use in this area and some have been
jumped by alleged gang members along the path))

VISUALS: A small number of officials speaking about the project at top of
the canyon path with overgrown conditions clearly visible in the background.
Immediately following press conference, Urban Corps youth will begin cutting
down overgrown brush, including using chain saws on non-native trees. B-Roll
of other recent Safe Passage efforts at Bell Middle also will be

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