Taking a proactive approach, Geoff Yantz, the superintendent of the South Pasadena Unified School District, says measures are in place to handle situations like the one involving a local middle school student, who threatened last week to jump from a second story of a building on campus.
“We are prepared the best we can be,” said Yantz, talking about the situation taking place at about 1:45 p.m. on Monday, December 17, involving a distraught student who verbalized he was going to leap, according to the superintendent. “We work very closely with families who have children who may be distressed. We also have extensive resources out in the community and throughout the county. We are able to connect families to get the help that might be needed in order to make sure that everybody is safe and taken care of.”
Sergeant Matt Ronnie of the South Pasadena Police Department said the “kid was distraught, wanted to kill himself and jump off the second story.”
Ronnie added. “Teachers stopped him, called police and fire. We intervened and took him in for medical evaluation.”
Members of the local fire department showed up at the scene, but were quickly cleared and sent back to the station.
“We had a student who was threatening self harm,” explained Yantz. “We contacted police to provide assistance to our staff. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the situation was managed very well. Sadly these situations do come up. As a public school system, we do have resources in place to provide assistance for children. We also have highly trained, well educated professionals who provide support for our staff. We also have a very close relationship with our police department.”
Following the incident, South Pasadena Middle School Principal David Kubela emailed a letter to parents and guardians of SPMS students reading in part:
“At approximately 1:45 PM, one of our students began engaging in behaviors that suggested to staff that he might be experiencing an elevated risk for possible self-harm. The South Pasadena Police Department was contacted to provide additional support and to help staff ensure the student’s safety. The situation was quickly stabilized, and there were no injuries to students or staff. Campus activity was back to normal by 2:20. Most students were in class and unaware of the event.”