Community summit will address student safety in Auburn

It’s a tough time to be a student.

No secret in that. Dangers lurk not only on the street corners where local thugs have always hung out, but also on the internet where bad-intentioned nasties are known to lurk.

There are perils unseen in the horde of airborne viruses. There are exotic and deadly drugs. And now there are school shootings, almost unknown to the previous generations of school kids, whose griping about fire drills and the like seems quaint now.

In partnership with the City of Auburn, the Auburn School District will talk about all that stuff and more at its third annual Safety Summit from 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Auburn High School Commons, 711 East Main St.

The summit provides the opportunity for community partners on the front lines to come together and provide information about services and discuss the role each partner plays in its efforts to keep Auburn’s kids safe.

“Partner” is sort of a shorthand for district staff, city of Auburn and city of Algona staff, police, mental health specialists, drug and alcohol specialists, counselors and others who will provide information and answer questions about how to realize the common goal of keeping Auburn School District students and the community safe.

But the confab is not just an event for official types — it’s open to the whole community to join in.

Vicki Alonzo, public information officer for the Auburn School District, said the district’s goals are “the same as they were in 2018: to provide information and answer questions about school safety in the Auburn School District via subject matter experts addressing a variety of topics that pertain to school safety.”

“School safety is a shared goal and responsibility, not just of the Auburn School District, but of the community as a whole,” Alonzo added.

The Auburn School District asked the city to participate in the first safety summit in 2018 to address community concerns specific to school safety in the wake of troubling national and local incidents, said Dana Hinman, director of administration for the City of Auburn.

“The goal was to have a community dialogue on how we can keep our kids safe at school and how prevention of incidents as well as response to incidents — which we hope we don’t have — require broad engagement throughout the community,” Hinman said. “To the City of Auburn, we hope our residents can see how closely we work with our schools in many ways, and especially when it comes to the safety of our kids.”

Among the panelists for a question-and-answer period will be Dr. Alan Spicciati, Auburn School District Superintendent; Luke Goethals, School Resource Officer; Ashley Boyd, Assistant Director for Prevention and Intervention; Tamikya St. Clair-Gore, Olympic Middle School Assistant Principal; Pioneer Elementary Principal Paul McKenzie; Mt. Baker Middle School Counselor AJ Vaughns; Rainier Middle School Assistant Principal Roland Sydney; West Auburn High School Safety Officer Rashawn Caw; and Auburn High School Principal Jeff Gardner.

Also on the list are City of Auburn Director of Administration Dana Hinman; Auburn Police Chief Mark Callier; Emergency Manager Karissa Smith; and Officer Francesca Nix, Internet Crimes and Gang Activities; Troy Linnell, Mayor Pro-Tem; and Algona Police Chief James Schrimpsher.

Also present will be Dr. Nathan Kittle, Addiction Medicine Specialty Director, HealthPoint; Jessica Forshee, Clinic Manager; Stephanie Earnhardt Valley Cities Behavioral Health; and Kelly Mangiaracina, policy and program manager and coordinator with King County’s Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Task Force.