Federal Government Launches School Safety Resource Website
The new website was created in response to a recommendation from the Federal Commission on School Safety created by President Trump in 2018.
- By Haley Samsel
- February 12, 2020
As part of a collaborative effort between the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services, the Trump administration has launched a new federal clearinghouse of school security resources at SchoolSafety.gov.
The new website features guidelines and strategies for educators and security professionals looking for more information on improving physical security, addressing bullying and mental health issues and training staff on how to respond to emergency situations.
In a news release, the federal agencies involved said the launch represents the “first phase” of the project. Resource materials will be consistently updated and refined over time as part of the site’s mandate from the Federal Commission on School Safety, established shortly after the Parkland, Florida school shooting in 2018.
“All students deserve a safe learning environment, and the Federal School Safety Clearinghouse is an essential resource for information and best practices," Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, chair of the Federal Commission on School Safety, said in a statement. "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."
Among the resources included on the site is the School Safety Readiness Tool, which assesses a school’s safety posture across 10 elements of school security. After the user completes the evaluation, they will be provided an “action plan” of tasks, potential strategies and more resources related to their specific safety needs.
School personnel can also share safety ideas and practices within a protected environment through the Secure Information Sharing Platform on the site. In the past, educators and safety professionals have been hesitant to share elements of their safety plans due to fears that it could be leaked to someone seeking to harm the school.
Max Schachter, a Parkland parent whose son Alex was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, praised the effort by the administration to take action on school safety. He has become an advocate on Capitol Hill and in the White House for structural change to address violence in schools.
“This, in my view, is the most significant effort the federal government has undertaken to educate schools on how to protect their campuses and how to provide a safe learning environment," Schachter told CNN.
He added that while more could be done by the government to prevent future school shootings, it’s an important step for the federal government to be more active in improving student safety.
“I'm not going to let perfection be the enemy of good,” Schachter said. “This is a really good thing that the president did and it's going to provide a lot of guidance to schools they've never had before."