Educators want more safety training
Many educators want more training in violence prevention and emergency response to improve school safety, according to a recent school violence survey by LifeChanger of the Year, an annual K-12 recognition program.
Even so, the rate of public school crime has dropped to its lowest percentage in recent years. During the 2015-16 school year, 79 percent of public schools recorded at least one campus crime, which is the lowest rate since the 1999-2000 school year, according to an annual report by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Meanwhile, Texas has allocated $200 million to school districts to improve safety and threat preparedness.
From DA: No clear way to stop gun violence
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has proposed funding The Department of Homeland Security to serve as a “clearinghouse” for improving school safety, The Hill reports.
Debate on how to enforce school safety
Arming teachers or other school personnel remains among the most controversial safety proposals. It’s one that Jagdish Khubchandani, a health science professor at Ball State University, called “costly and ineffective.”
“To actually stop an active shooter, you would have to be in the right place at the right time,” Khubchandani told District Administration.
Instead, Khubchandani recommended building up school mental health programs, enriching academic environments and doing better prevention surveillance.
Other school safety options include creating a team that conducts safety audits and providing regular training for faculty and staff that includes tabletop discussions, Stephen Kleinsmith, director of school and community partnership at Missouri State University, wrote in a recent DA op-ed.
“The time to address safety is now,” said Kleinsmith, who is also an educational consultant with Sapp Design Architects. “But we must do so in a well-thought-out manner resulting in a comprehensive plan of action that will weather the test of time.”
Resource: School safety resources
DA resource: School safety without breaking the bank