SchoolSafety.gov Awareness Campaign to Support Schools with Safety Resources

Interagency back-to-school campaign highlights clearinghouse of evidence-based practices and recommendations to improve school safety.

SchoolSafety.gov Awareness Campaign to Support Schools with Safety Resources

Image via DHS & ED

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has teamed with the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Justice (DOJ), to launch a public awareness campaign to “highlight federal school safety resources and evidence-based practices” available through SchoolSafety.gov, according to a joint announcement.

The initiative is one of several new actions the Biden-Harris administration is taking “to support safer schools and communities,” the announcement says. Through the campaign, the administration will “educate school administrators and personnel, teachers, parents and guardians, and state and local government officials about school safety resources available at SchoolSafety.gov.”

The goal is “to advance the mission and maximize the benefits of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) by accelerating and enhancing the implementation of programs and initiatives that will help families, communities, and schools build capacity and establish and expand successful school safety strategies,” the announcement says.

The campaign is being launched for the back-to-school season “to ensure schools have the tools they need to create and sustain welcoming, safe, and supportive learning environments for students and educators,” according to the announcement.

“Government has few responsibilities more important than ensuring the safety of our communities – especially our children,” says Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in the announcement. “To protect our children and educators, we must ensure the schools they attend and work in are safe and secure.

“The Department of Homeland Security and our partners in the Biden-Harris Administration are working together to make sure every child and educator enjoys the safe and secure environment they deserve, whether it is by making available safety resources to every school through SchoolSafety.gov, cutting through red tape to help schools access critical security funding, or supporting local law enforcement agencies across the country,” he says.

“Student and educator safety remains our priority,” says U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in the joint announcement. I want all school and district leaders, educators and staff, and students and families to know that SchoolSafety.gov is the one-stop shop for accessing resources and evidence-based approaches for building safe schools and positive learning environments.

“We’re pairing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s historic investments in school safety and student mental health and well-being with easily accessible information on everything from responding to cyber bullying and preventing violence to improving emergency preparedness and accessing federal grants,” he says.

“We must do everything we can to keep our schools and kids safe,” says HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in the announcement. “SchoolSafety.gov is a tremendous resource that education and community members can use to support safe positive environments for all students and educators.”

“The SchoolSafety.gov initiative is aimed at harnessing resources and capabilities across government to help make every school a safe place to learn,” says Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in the announcement. “The Justice Department will continue to work closely with our partners in government and communities across the country to help keep our schools safe.”

More About the SchoolSafety.gov Campaign

As part of the campaign, SchoolSafety.gov will release a range of resources, including a video, communications toolkit, and infographics, to help schools learn more about how to enhance school safety, access support, and easily share information about the campaign with others in their community.

The campaign will feature an informational webinar being held and recorded today showcasing federal training and technical assistance centers focused on issues related to school safety, school climate, and mental health supports. Campaign information and materials will be accessible through a dedicated hub on SchoolSafety.gov throughout August and September.

SchoolSafety.gov is the public website of the Federal School Safety Clearinghouse, an ongoing and collaborative effort among ED, DHS, DOJ, and HHS to enhance school safety through a whole-of-government approach.

Through the site, the American public and school communities can access hundreds of resources and evidence-based practices to enhance school safety, which can be used to help inform and support school safety plans, programs, and initiatives within individualized and unique school settings.

These resources address a range of issues and elements critical to school safety and include information on bullying prevention, student mental health support and services, school climate, emergency planning, and preventing acts of targeted and community violence.

SchoolSafety.gov also includes several easy-to-use tools to help schools discover specific resources and create and implement comprehensive and holistic safety programs, including a feature that makes it easier to locate and identify available federal school safety funding opportunities and grant programs.

BSCA enacted several key provisions to enhance school safety and security initiatives and is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader commitment to making our students, schools, and communities safer.

Under the Luke and Alex School Safety Act, which is incorporated into BSCA, the law formally established the Clearinghouse and required it to identify and publish online through SchoolSafety.gov evidence-based practices and recommendations to improve school safety for use by states, local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, state and local law enforcement agencies, health professionals, and the general public.

The original version of this article appeared on SSI‘s sister site, Campus Safety.

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