Students from Yakima County shared common concerns about safety and brainstormed ways to help make schools safer during the Student Safety Summit, which ESD 105 hosted the morning of Thursday, April 11. The 90-minute session involved about 20 participants from six area high schools, and was built around programming that was entirely organized and directed by area students, through the support of the ESD’s School Safety Operations and Coordination Center.

School safety leads picked three student leaders to prepare and develop presentations for the session, based on safety concerns they have seen at their own schools. The student-led discussions covered suicide awareness and prevention, school threats and outcomes, and bullying and vaping. Material for the morning was designed to empower students to become a force for change in safety at their own schools, and included open discussion centered on noticing and reporting unsafe things at school and how students can report on and realistically address those concerns.

The April session helped spur interest in developing student safety clubs at schools, and plans call for another School Safety Summit to be held this fall.