School Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness

Man and Security Guard and or policeman speaking to one another

Montgomery County Public Schools/Bill Mills:

Keeping Our Schools Safe

The primary responsibility of every school district is to ensure a safe and secure environment for students, staff and visitors. Listed below are articles and resources on school safety and crisis management, including emergency preparedness and disaster management.

Webinars and Videos
American School Board Journal
Research and Reports
Resources for School Attorneys
State School Board Associations and Other Resources


Webinars and Videos

Webinar: Dec. 21, 2012: Planning For and Managing the School Crisis You Hope Never Comes 
Sponsored by the National School Boards Association’s Office of General Counsel and the Council of School Attorneys. 

Video: Dec. 19, 2012: School Safety following Sandy Hook
Missouri School Boards' Association interviews Paul Fennewald of the Missouri Center for Education Safety on School Safety following Sandy Hook 

American School Board Journal

Trending in School Security, Keeping up to Keep Students Safe
ASBJ decided to examine the latest trends in school safety and chat with security experts—and put together a list of cutting-edge issues worthy of your attention. This isn’t the last word in school safety, but this list should provide fodder for your school board’s next conversation on protecting students and staff.
August 2017

Bomb Scare
Hoax or real danger? School leadaers grapple with reaction to bomb threats.
August 2016

Electronic School:  Security Goes High-Tech
Technology offers solutions to security dilemmas, building safety, data security and Policy and Practice: Georgia School Boards Association has offered its districts a group cyber insurance plan since 2013 at a cost of about $1 per student... read more.
August 2016

Police Presence
As arrests and suspensions rise, the role of the School Resource Officer (SRO) is under scrutiny.
February 2016

Security Checkpoint
Three years afater Sandy Hook, the horrific tragedy spurred schools to intensify security efforts.
October 2015

School Security After Sandy Hook
Addressing school safety doesn’t mean simply responding to the latest horrific shooting. Districts have to put school shootings in perspective and understand where the threats are more likely to come from. Schools should take an “all-hazards” approach that considers the best responses to a variety of emergencies.
December 2013

School Safety Plans
Working together, schools and community partners can focus their emergency planning using time-tested national guidance, including efforts to build a positive school climate to establish relationships of trust and respect among students and staff in order to encourage them to share information about threatening behavior before an incident occurs.
August 2013

Preparing a crisis communication plan before a crisis hits (2015)

Research and Reports

April 2018 Release:  2015-2016 Civil Rights Data Collection, School Climate and Safety, U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, biennial report. New in the 2015-16 CRDC report is comprehensive data regarding incidents of criminal offenses in our nation's public schools. 

March 2018 Release:  2017 Indicators of School Crime and Safety, Indicator 20:  Safety and Security Measures Taken by Public Schools; Key Findings  Source: 2018 report, IES, National Center for Education Statistics.  Full report hereA joint effort by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

School Shootings and Student Mental Health - What Lies Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg
Recommendations created by William Dikel, M.D., Independent Consulting Psychiatrist, NSBA's Council of School Attorneys. 

Student Perceptions of School Safety
Studies show that students who do not feel safe at school stay home. And when students aren't in school, they don't perform academically. The Center for Public Education’s Data First project discusses student perceptions and how school officials can help keep them safe.

Resources for School Attorneys

Available for Council of School Attorneys members:

School Law Primer - School Safety: Legal Pointers for Public Schools: 2016

When Seconds Count: A School District's Response to Natural Disasters and Emergencies (2015 seminar paper)

School Safety and Emergency Preparedness (2013 seminar paper)

State School Board Associations and Other Resources

Connecticut Association of Boards of Education: Dealing with Tragedy

New York State School Boards Association:  “Tending to Our Youth”
The report recommends specific actions that school districts can take to increase school safety, including ways to identify possible warning signs of students at-risk and provide support to students who do not feel that they belong in the school community. (March 2013)

Missouri Center for Education Safety
U.S. Department of Education: Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center

Texas Association of School Boards Hurricane Harvey Resources

Federal Resources

U.S. Department of Education:  Practical Information on Crisis Planning

U.S. Department of Education Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center:  Post-Disaster Reunification

U.S. Department of Education Activates Emergency Response Contact Center

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Federal Emergency and Disaster Policies

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Post-Disaster Child Care Needs & Resources Matrix

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:  Children and Youth Task Force in Disasters

U.S. Department of Homeland Security:  Plan Ahead for Disasters

Resources on Homeless Students

When students and families are displaced during the emergency, federal law and guidance on homeless students may apply.  Following are resources on homeless students from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education.

U.S. Department of Justice:  Q&A on what documentation schools can collect from students

U.S. Departments of Justice and Education:  Information on the Rights of All Children to Enroll in School: Questions and Answers for States, School Districts and Parents

U.S. Department of Education:  Identifying and Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness from Pre-School to Post-Secondary Ages

Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program Nonregulatory Guidance (2016)

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