Educators and law enforcement to convene in OC for 15th annual Safe Schools Conference

Continuing a united effort to bolster school safety, more than 500 professionals from education and law enforcement will gather for the 15th annual Safe Schools Conference from July 10 through July 12.

The three-day event at Delta Hotels Anaheim Garden Grove will again be hosted by former California Secretary of Education Dave Long through his firm, Dave Long & Associates, in collaboration with the Orange County Department of Education and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Featuring scores of workshops and three general sessions, the goal is to increase collaboration, share information and promote best practices for safer school environments.

Safe Schools Conference participants
Participants gather at the 2022 Safe Schools Conference in Garden Grove.

This year’s conference is expected to draw administrators, police officers, school board members, counselors, youth service workers and other school and community leaders interested in the direct link between safe schools, attendance and academic performance.

“Ensuring the safety of our students is at the forefront of our priorities, as a secure environment is absolutely vital for learning and growth,” Long said. “To see how much this conference has grown over the last few years is a testament to the dedication of both the education and law enforcement communities, and is truly amazing to both witness and be a part of.” 

Breakout sessions will cover an array of topics including comprehensive school safety plans, the fentanyl crisis, bullying, communicating with digital natives, restorative practices, mental health, crisis communication for educators and law enforcement, targeted school violence, trauma-informed self-care, healthy relationships and human trafficking.

Three keynote speakers

Each day will also bring participants together for a general session.

On Wednesday, July 10, Dr. Peter Langman will deliver the first general session titled “Pathways to Violence: Three Types of School Shooters.” Langman will dispel common misconceptions about school shooters as bullied loners by demonstrating the diversity of perpetrators. His presentation will outline the psychological classifications of school shooters, dividing them into three categories: psychopathic, psychotic and traumatized.

July 11 will spotlight Kimberly Mull, who is a survivor of child sex trafficking. Mull uses her experiences to foster understanding and inspire action. Her presentation, “Taken, But Home for Dinner,” reveals the hidden realities of child sex trafficking, which is more pervasive and closer to home than many people realize. Mull will share practical strategies for making a difference, from recognizing the unique signs of trafficking to supporting anti-trafficking organizations and advocating for policy changes.

The final day will feature Colton Easton, whose presentation is titled “Behavioral and Digital Threat Assessment™ (BDTA): Identification and Assessment of Threats through a Three-Step Response Plan.” The BDTA model focuses on identifying and assessing threats. Easton’s session will cover best practices for interviewing and progress monitoring, along with management strategies, to equip participants with essential skills for early identification and response to concerning behavior.

Delta Hotels Anaheim Garden Grove is located at 12021 Harbor Blvd. in Garden Grove. For more information on workshops, featured speakers or registration, visit, or contact OCDE Program Specialist Christine Laehle at 714-327-1067 or