School Safety

CISA Releases Toolkit for Bystander Reporting Programs for K–12 Admins

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center have published a new guide to help K–12 schools strengthen their school safety reporting programs with actionable advice for encouraging students and school stakeholders to report potentially unsafe situations.

The guide, called “The K–12 Bystander Reporting Toolkit,” is available for download at the CISA website.

“Effective reporting systems, and the willingness of bystanders to come forward with safety and wellness concerns for themselves and others, are critical components of student health and school violence prevention efforts,” CISA said in a news release. “The K–12 Bystander Reporting Toolkit ... is designed to help school leaders create tailored, customized approaches that best meet the needs of their unique communities.”

The toolkit, developed by CISA and the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center, recommends five key strategies:

Encourage bystanders to report concerns for the wellness and safety of themselves or others

Make reporting accessible and safe for the reporting community

Follow-up on reports and be transparent about the actions taken in response to reported concerns

Make reporting a part of daily school life

Create a positive climate where reporting is valued and respected

The K–12 Bystander Reporting Toolkit also includes self-assessment worksheets and checklists and a list of additional school safety resources on topics such as threat assessment and school climate.

Learn more and download the toolkit at

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].