All too frequently, we hear the media report on stories of school security and school safety issues. The tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut have parents, students, teachers, and community members alike wondering just how vulnerable their children are to these and other hazards.
So, how do we know whether or not our schools are safe? How can we keep schools safe? How can we improve school safety? How can we reduce the likelihood of tragedies like the one in Newtown? While The Grant Helpers are not quite at the level of security professionals (though we have a lot of relevant experience, having written many successful school security proposals), we can offer you several resources that will help you address security issues.
Prior to 2011, the United States Department of Education offered the Readiness and Emergency Management in Schools (REMS) grant program and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Secure Our Schools grants. Both of these programs were not offered in 2012, but because of recent tragedies, many anticipate a greater response from federal and state governments to find or increase funding for purposes of improving school security and safety.
In the meantime, it is important that everyone, from parents to administrators, knows what is involved in keeping students safe. Toward that end, The Grant Helpers have developed a School Emergency Preparedness Overview that can be downloaded for free. This document consists of a checklist, categorized into the four main areas of readiness (Mitigation and Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery), that highlights key points for schools and communities to consider. Teachers, parents, students, administrators, and other community members can use the document as a broad-brush, initial survey of emergency readiness. Any obvious gaps that show up in the overview would call for more detailed attention as a priority.
In addition to our School Emergency Preparedness Overview, the following are also excellent resources that can be used when looking to assess and improve school security:
This website is rich with resources for schools to utilize when creating and updating school emergency management plans.
This website offers tips and resources for students, parents, and school personnel. The site features information about school safety, training on school safety, publications and products on school safety, and different programs on school safety. There are also downloadable school safety resources.
In this article, published by ZDNet, Christopher Dawson reviews a new school technology product, designed to help school staff members and emergency personnel communicate throughout various emergency situations.
Some of our previous blog articles:
All of us Grant Helpers are committed to helping you secure a safer educational environment for students. If you have any questions about finding school security or safety funding sources, finding more school safety and security resources, or how we can help you secure funding for school safety or school security, please contact us. The initial consolation is always free.
Image credit: Doug Gansler, Maryland Attorney General