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School safety is defined as schools and school-related activities where students are safe from violence, bullying and harassment, and the influence of substance use.

Safe schools promote the protection of all students from violence, exposure to weapons and threats, theft, bullying and harassment, the sale or use of illegal substances on school grounds, and other emergencies.  School safety is linked to improved student and school outcomes. In particular, emotional and physical safety in school are related to academic performance. At the same time, students who are victims of physical or emotional harassment or who are involved in the sale or use of illegal substances on school grounds are at risk for poor attendance, course failure and school dropout.

Featured Resources

Summarizes state social and emotional learning needs and strategies in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, as outlined in American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief plans.

Provides detailed guidance for forming and developing a family reunification process in the event of a school emergency. This new 30-45 minute course is freely available and includes additional information on planning basics and principles, emergency management functions, and hazards and threats.

Crossing guard walking students across street

Presents data on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population from an array of sources. The 2021 edition of the Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety is the 24th in a series of annual publications. Beginning with the 2020 edition, this report has been redesigned with the intention of increasing its usability for a wider audience. This report does so by highlighting selected findings from 23 indicators on various school crime and safety topics.

back to school mask

Describes the importance that schools ensure that the learning environment is welcoming and students do not experience bullying, harassment, or exclusion from school activities because of their decision of whether or not to use facemasks due to COVID-19.

Blue Campaign

Provides information to support school resource officers to recognize signs of and report suspected human trafficking. In addition, offers strategies to ensure potential victims or impacted students get connected with appropriate providers and support. 


Aims to help K-12 school (public and nonpublic) personnel, school district administrators and staff, state/regional education agency personnel, and their partners develop a greater understanding of site assessments and how to examine the safety, security, emergency management, and preparedness of K-12 buildings and grounds. This online course uses an engaging visual format and interactive features, such as learning activities and quizzes, to help you learn about site assessments, building design principles, data, and tools.

Developed an extensive set of media resources that can be used and adapted by school systems to communicate clear strategies for students’ safe return to in-person learning. This toolkit offers numerous social media messages designed to reach students, families and others via Facebook, Linked In, Instagram and Twitter.

State Report on the Implementation of the Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA): U.S. States and Other Jurisdictions 2019-20 School Year (SY 2019-20)

Presents data and reports on the implementation of the Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) across U.S. states and other jurisdictions with the goal of strengthening the quality of GFSA data submissions. Features the development of a formal quality review process, including developing a set of business rules to detect issues related to data completeness and accuracy. 

Community Violence Prevention

Addresses the direct link between gun violence and the rise in violent crime while providing immediate strategies and steps for gun control and preventing gun trafficking across state lines.

Protecting America's Schools: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence

Dives deep into nine years of school tragedies, and it advocates for schools to establish comprehensive targeted violence prevention programs. Provides prevention measures to identify students of concern and assess their potential risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities.

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Provides key preparedness and response considerations during COVID-19 and gives school safety teams, families, and students practical

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Promotes physical wellness through infrastructure improvements, enforcement, tools, safety education, and incentives to encourage walking and bicycling to school. Includes an SRTS Guide along with simple strategies, such as the walking school bus, that schools can use to support bicycling and walking.

EOP Assist software application (app)

Designs access to help schools create and update high-quality school emergency operations plans (EOPS). Navigates end users through a six-step planning process recommended in the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans (School Guide) and obtains a unique and downloadable school EOP. Launches to Help Educators, Administrators, Parents, and Law Enforcement Prepare for Threats

Assists users in evaluating their respective school’s safety posture across ten foundational elements of school safety. Builds awareness within the school community to promote vigilance and builds capacity to respond to incidents.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the United States and How Educators Can Help

Provides information about female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and its prevalence in the United States. It highlights specific strategies educators, school-based health staff and school administrators, can use to identify and help girls who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing FGM/C.

The Role of Districts in Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans: A Companion to the School Guide

Provides an overview of information for districts working with school planning teams creating operation plans that are specific to emergencies. At the same time, highlights a report to assist schools and school districts in developing customized school EOPs with first reponders.

Front page of the Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety guide

Shares what the Federal Commission on School Safety found in research and recommends to advance safety in schools via prevention, protection and mitigation, and response and recovery. It touches on promoting mental health, addressing related discipline issues, and violence in schools.


Offers courses for law enforcement and criminal justice professionals to gain knowledge and training via specific courses on school safety and other related topics.

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Describes cybersecurity for schools and steps educators can take, with the collaboration of parents, to protect student privacy while

Teachers having a conversation with students

Provides best practices and includes resources school leaders and teachers can utilize as they work to achieve a positive school climate, lower disciplinary issues and enhance school safety.

America’s schools are often a primary source of supports for the mental health and general well-being of children and youth. These supports are particularly essential when students are struggling or experiencing trauma (e.g., contending with impact of COVID-19), while also experiencing adolescence. A key area of support schools can provide is building student resilience.  Building student resilience can mitigate the impact of adversities, enabling students to rise above the challenges they face and recalibrate their responses accordingly. This is especially the case when students have

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American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

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