The U.S. departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Justice (DoJ) have launched a public awareness campaign to highlight Federal school safety resources and evidence-based practices that the government is making available through SchoolSafety.gov.
The interagency initiative is aimed at educating school administrators and personnel, teachers, parents and guardians, and state and local government officials about school safety resources. The goal of the initiative is to advance the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to accelerate and enhance the implementation of programs and initiatives to help school communities build the capacity to establish and expand successful school safety strategies.
“Student and educator safety remains our priority. 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,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
The campaign was 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.
“Government has few responsibilities more important than ensuring the safety of our communities – especially our children. To protect our children and educators, we must ensure the schools they attend and work in are safe and secure,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, said in a statement.
“The SchoolSafety.gov initiative is aimed at harnessing resources and capabilities across government to help make every school a safe place to learn,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
“We must do everything we can to keep our schools and kids safe. SchoolSafety.gov is a tremendous resource that education and community members can use to support safe positive environments for all students and educators,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
As part of the campaign, the agencies are releasing several resources – including video, communication toolkits, and infographics – via SchoolSafety.gov to help school communities learn more about how to enhance school safety, access support, and easily share information about the campaign with others in their community.
The resources address a range of issues that are considered critical to school safety, including bullying prevention, student mental health support and services, school climate, emergency planning, and preventing acts of targeted and community violence.
In addition, SchoolSafety.gov includes several easy-to-use tools to help schools discover specific resources and create and implement comprehensive and holistic safety programs.
The interagency initiative also accelerates and enhances the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which President Biden signed into law in June 2022. The BSCA expands vital mental health services and provides additional support for States and districts to design and enhance initiatives that will promote safer, more inclusive, and positive school environments for all students, educators, and school staff.
The BSCA – under the Luke and Alex School Safety Act incorporated in the BSCA – formally established the publication of SchoolSafety.gov.
“We’re pairing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s historic investments in school safety and student mental health and wellbeing with easily accessible information on everything from responding to cyberbullying and preventing violence to improving emergency preparedness and accessing Federal grants,” Cardona said.