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SPS superintendent introduces new safety initiative following Ingraham High School shooting

SPS's superintendent introduced a safety initiative which includes a district wide security audit, creating a community action team and child wellbeing council.

SEATTLE — Student safety is an important issue for Seattle Public Schools (SPS), especially after last week's shooting at Ingraham High School. KING 5 asked what the district is doing now to keep its students safe in the classroom. 

Hundreds of students from several SPS high schools held a protest at city hall Monday, demanding change. They want more mental health aid, classes to help students work through their emotions and more security and outreach programs to help students succeed in school and beyond. 

Dr. Robin Fleming with the University of Washington's Bothell School of Nursing and Health Studies was a school nurse for several Seattle schools for about 10 years. She said the state of school safety is much different than a decade ago.

"I think it's worse, I think part of the issue is we don't have enough providers,” said Fleming. “Nurses for example aren't necessarily working to the top of their license, we need to look at how we offer health services in schools, and we certainly don't have enough mental health counselors."

SPS Superintendent Brent Jones wasn’t available to speak with KING 5 on Tuesday but introduced a safety initiative during last week's school board meeting. It’s comprised of three elements: a district-wide safety and security audit, the creation of a community action team and lastly hopes of launching a child well-being council. Liza Rankin, the School Board Director of District 1 who represents Ingraham High School believes those elements are steps in the right direction.

"Student health and safety and gun violence... These are things that impact our students but not only at school,” said Rankin. “These are a lot of broader issues that impact students inside and outside of school."

Officials with SPS said they do have additional counselors, social workers and security at Ingraham High School, which will be in place for at least through the end of the week.

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