L.A. City Attorney Forms Panel on School Safety

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced the formation of the Los Angeles School Safety Blue Ribbon Panel and said it will hold a series of public hearings before issuing a report this summer that will offer recommendations on improving campus safety.

``Nothing is more important than keeping our kids safe and secure,'' said Feuer, who is also co-chair of the group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence. ``Now is the time to take a fresh, focused look at how we are doing and how can we do it better.''

Feuer's announcement comes after a gun brought to campus by a 12-year- old girl accidentally discharged inside a Salvador Castro Middle School classroom, injuring two students, in the Westlake district of Los Angeles on Feb. 1 and since a gunman went on a rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, killing 17 people and sparking a national debate on gun control and school safety.

Feuer's office said the panel will hold meetings around Los Angeles and hear from the city's stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers and administrators, along with experts in a variety of fields in order to draft recommendations to improve school safety.

The panel, which is still being formed, includes:

-- Laura Chick, former Los Angeles city controller;

-- Carlos Moreno, former California Supreme Court justice;

-- Earl Paysinger, former LAPD first assistant chief; current vice president of civic engagement at USC;

-- Benjamin Holtzman, student member of the LAUSD board;

-- Julia Macias, president, LAUSD superintendent's student advisory council;

-- Jessica Lall, president and CEO of the Central City Association;

-- Deborah Prothrow-Stith, dean and professor at the Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine;

-- Kevin Sauls, pastor of Holman United Methodist Church;

-- Greig Smith, former Los Angeles city councilman and LAPD reserve officer;

-- Garen Wintemute, director of the University of California Firearm Policy Research Center;

-- Gloria Martinez, United Teachers Los Angeles elementary vice president;

-- Daniel Barnhart, UTLA secondary vice president; and

-- a representative from the Los Angeles School Police.

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