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States' Roles in Keeping Schools Safe: Opportunities and Challenges for State School Safety Centers and Other Actors

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2017
20 pages
Publication Series
This report draws on the deliberations of a NIJ (National Institute of Justice) - sponsored meeting of representatives from 20 States, who met in February 2016 to discuss the role of State school safety representatives in shaping the activities of the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI), a research-focused initiative with the goal of producing practical knowledge on a wide range of school safety topics in K-12 public and charter schools.
This report's focus is on the role of State school safety centers (SSSCs) in improving school safety. It summarizes the activities, priorities, challenges, and concerns of SSSCs discussed at the meeting. NIJ's review of online sources prior to the meeting determined that there are 56 SSSCs in 48 States and the District of Columbia, including seven States with multiple agencies responsible for school safety. SSSCs work with Federal and State government as well as local education agencies (LEAs) in shaping, informing, and implementing legislation, policies, practices, and programming intended to improve school safety. Over the course of the 2-day meeting, SSSCs shared information about the opportunities and the challenges they face. SSSCs have developed strategies for improving school safety. This includes organizing training and conferences intended to increase knowledge and strategies related to school safety and improve compliance with new legislative requirements related to school safety. This report concludes that SSSCs have made great strides in working with schools and other stakeholders regarding school safety and security; however, they believe that with better support from other SSSCs, researchers, and staff in State and Federal governments, they can do even more. 7 references and appended meeting agenda

Date Published: July 1, 2017