Despite recent student violence, Silva says St. Paul schools are safe

St. Paul schools Superintendent Valeria Silva
St. Paul Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva said she doesn't think the district is an outlier for school violence. "Our schools are safe," she said.
Peter Cox | MPR News 2015

The St. Paul school district is scheduled to take up a teacher contract next week that will include new steps toward making schools safer.

St. Paul schools have been the scene of a number of violent incidents this school year. One left a Central High teacher unconscious and another last week injured a Como Park High teacher. A loaded gun was found in a student's backpack at Harding High School in October.

The incidents come in the wake of a change in discipline policy aimed at curbing suspensions in the schools.

In an interview with MPR News' Cathy Wurzer, Superintendent Valeria Silva said she doesn't think the district is an outlier for school violence.

"We don't have much more violence, but we have had high-profile cases in which unfortunately teachers have been involved," she said. "And that's really unfortunate, because we all want to go to work and feel safe."

She emphasized that "our schools are safe."

The district launched a new safety initiative in January that added more supervision in nearly a dozen schools where discipline problems have spiked this year.

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