School Safety Resources

By Alison Maley posted 01-24-2013 14:10

School Safety Resources for Parents, Schools, Law Enforcement Officials, and Communities

Illinois Resources

Prevention and Preparedness
Examples of emergency response plans implemented by school districts and States can be accessed here:
Creating and Updating School Emergency Management Plans (Department of Education)

U.S. Department of Education - Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) Emergency Planning Website

U.S. Department of Justice - Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Safer Schools

Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the U.S.: Following the attack at Columbine High School, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education launched the Safe School Initiative, an extensive examination of 37 incidents of targeted school shootings and school attacks that have occurred in the U.S. The final report details how the agencies studied school-based attacks and their findings. 

Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and Creating Safe School Climates

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) School Safety Tool Kit

Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Communities and Schools

Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grants (ED)

Emergency Response and Crisis Management Technical Assistance Center

Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT)

American Red Cross Masters of Disaster Curriculum

The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective (FBI)

Bomb Threat Response: An Interactive Planning Tool for Schools (ED)

Conflict Resolution for School Personnel: An Interactive School Training Tool (National Criminal Justice Reference Service)

School Crime Operations Software Package

COPS Secure Our Schools (SOS) Initiative (DOJ)

COPS Safe Schools Initiative (DOJ)

National Institutes of Justice (NIJ) School Safety Programs and Planning

Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (Texas State University)

Helping America's Youth Initiative

Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence (George Washington University)

Youth Crime Stoppers

Teens, Crime and the Community Initiative (National Crime Prevention Council)

Montana Safe Schools Center (University of Montana Division of Educational Research and Service)

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities - Safe Schools

Council for Educational Facilities Planners (CEFPI)

Ready Kids (FEMA)

National Center for Disaster Preparedness (Columbia University)

Coping and Response

Helping Youth and Children Recover from Traumatic Events (Department of Education)

Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) Grants 

Tips for Helping Students Recovering from Traumatic Events 

Reactions and Guidelines for Children Following Trauma/Disaster (American Psychological Association)

The Three R's for Dealing with Trauma in Schools: Readiness, Response and Recovery (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)

National Center for Children Exposed to Violence

School Crisis Response Initiative (Office of Justice Programs)

Research and Statistics

Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2001

Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2005

How to Respond - When an Active Shooter is in your vicinity
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Customers and clients (students, faculty, etc.) are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers (principals, teachers, staff) during an active shooter situation. 
  1. Evacuate - Have an escape route and plan in mind; leave your belongings behind; keep your hands visible
  2. Hide Out - Hide in an area out of the active shooter's view; block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors; CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO
  3. Take Action - As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger; attempt to incapacitate the active shooter; act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter
How to Respond - When law enforcement arrives on the scene
  1. How to react - Remain calm and follow officers' instructions; immediately raise hands and spread fingers; keep hands visible at all times; avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety; avoid pointing, screaming or yelling; do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises
  2. Information you should provide - Location of the active shooter; number of shooters if more than one; physical description of shooter/s; number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s; number of potential victims at the location
Recognizing Signs of Potential Violence
  • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
  • Unexplained increase of absenteeism, and/or vague physical complaints
  • Depression/withdrawal
  • Increased severe mood swings, and noticeably unstable or emotional responses
  • Increasingly talks of problems at home
  • Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms, and other dangerous weapons and violent crimes
(Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Tactical Officers Association, Fairfax County Police, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association)

Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans - Written by U.S. Departments of Education, Homeland Security, FEMA, FBI, Justice, and Health and Human Services.