Feds Offer Guidance on School Safety

The federal government has launched a "clearinghouse" website to help schools prepare for threats. A joint venture of the four agencies, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Education, Justice and Health and Human Services, SchoolSafety.gov will provide recommendations for helping schools "prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to and recover from emergency situations."

Currently, SchoolSafety.gov includes links to about 255 resources, including videos; virtual training; guidance; reports; tools; fact sheets; podcasts; surveys and assessments; and links to grants, programs and events. Content can be filtered and searched on by education level (primary, secondary or post-secondary), audience (such as principals, emergency managers or parents and students) and intended application (classroom, school building, campus, etc.).

"School safety is the number one priority of parents across the country," said Chad Wolf, acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, in a statement. "The Department provided expertise and resources on a range of school safety issues including threat assessments, physical security, emergency planning, and trainings and exercises designed to help schools and local law enforcement prepare for incidents. With these resources, schools and law enforcement will be better equipped to handle a crisis."

"All students deserve a safe learning environment, and the Federal School Safety Clearinghouse is an essential resource for information and best practices," added U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who also chairs the Federal Commission on School Safety. "Because every school community has its own unique needs, SchoolSafety.gov equips decision makers with resources for developing, customizing and implementing actionable school safety plans."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.