Delaware County District Attorney and Baldwin alumna Kat Copeland ’85 convened a summit of educators, school administrators, public safety personnel and first responders to proactively address school violence. The 2019 Safe Schools Summit, held on October 22 at Neumann University, focused on mental health and understanding the impact of trauma on children.
The summit also featured a keynote address by Kevin Hines, a national brain and mental health advocate, who shared his unlikely story of survival after attempted to take his own life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. He is one of only 34 (less than 1%) to survive the fall and he is the only Golden Gate Bridge jump survivor who is actively spreading the message of living mentally healthy. Kevin’s story is a remarkable testament to the strength of the human spirit and a reminder for us to love the life we have.
“Too often the topic of mental health as a root cause of school violence is discussed in generalities and soundbites,” said Copeland. “That is why I thought it was important that we bring in experts on mental health and wellness of students who could share their experiences and provide practical knowledge that schools could use to implement new programs and policies.”
“Through this summit the District Attorney’s Office brings together educators and school officials to focus on improving school safety by consistently addressing issues related to the safety and well-being of students and teachers,” said Copeland. “This summit brings together our teachers and school officials — who are the ones ultimately tasked with responding to crisis situations — to learn ways to protect themselves and their school community, to collectively discuss the challenges facing our schools, and to promote best practices.”