ANNO In this 6-minute video, three researchers who have conducted research funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) define school safety and discuss why it is important for school officials and law enforcement agencies to discuss school safety plans based on research.
The three researchers are Joshua Hendrix, Research Scientist at RTI International; Mario Scalora, Director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and Suyapa Silva, Program Director for School Based Research at RTI International. Silva notes that school safety is about teachers, students, and faculty feeling safe from harassment, bullying, drug use, and other forms of violence, with this feeling of safety being linked to better student educational outcomes. Hendrix views school safety as the sum of all activities by federal and state agencies, school and district staff, local law enforcement, and other stakeholders to create and maintain a positive learning space for youth by reducing bullying, violence, and other disruptive behaviors that undermine educational services and student motivation to learn. Scalora views safety as the maintenance of an open, accepting environment that can be undermined by turning schools into "armed camps." One component of a school safety plan discussed is its dynamic feature of constant updating based on lessons learned from safety threats that have occurred at other schools, feedback from school staff, and student perspectives. Other characteristics of a school safety plan include its being customized to the building and having instructions for each type of staff, students, each location, and each potential threat scenario.
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Date Published: June 1, 2020