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Law enforcement and school staff all over the country look at ways to keep students safe

Posted at 5:59 PM, May 09, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — This week, law enforcement and school staff from all over the country are meeting in Mission Valley to discuss ways to keep students safe.

Among the attendees is Ahmed Wiggins, a Safety and Security Manager for the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

While he heads the department, many people are needed to make things work and keep kids safe, according to Wiggins. This was why he attended the 14th National Student Safety and Security Conference.

“It's about knowledge," Wiggins said. "It's about growing and learning, and I think conferences like this [are] a great way to learn and collaborate with different colleagues from around the world.”

Wiggins said with the rise of social media among the younger generation, it’s a little more challenging to stay ahead of the game.

“We have a number of challenges that the kids want to do, but they may not always know the ins and outs of them and the consequences that may come from them," Wiggins said. We also have copycats. People may see something they think is cool.”

Like many others attending different workshops, Wiggins is learning to think outside the box.

Doctor Stephen Sroka, a Professor at the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, spoke about school safety, offering a different perspective, relying more on school nurses to help identify problems before something happens.

"They have been trained to deal with mental health crisis," Sroka said. "They have all the training we need in the school, and they're not being utilized. We need heartware instead of hardware and mental detectors before metal detectors. Let's build safety in and not tack it on.”

Something Wiggins agrees with and looks forward to bringing back to his district’s team.

“I believe showing that our true hearts will help them understand how much we care about them and their safety as well,” Wiggens said.