School Safety

Issues concerning student safety, school violence, and student rights, including issues of harassment and bullying.

Aired Friday, December 21, 2012
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern

Planning For and Managing the School Crisis You Hope Never Comes

Shamus O’Meara, Johnson Condon, Attorneys at Law P.A., legal counsel to Red Lake and Rocori School Districts after 2005 and 2003 school shootings.
Rick Kaufman director, Community Relations and Emergency Management, for Bloomington Public Schools, Minnesota, formerly Communications Director for the Jefferson County Schools (Columbine High School), Colorado.

As the education community mourned the horrific loss of life in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, school advisors and leaders were being asked to review and revamp school emergency plans.

In this free webinar, national experts on school emergency planning and response offered guidance to school board members, school administrators, and school attorneys on planning for emergencies, including school shootings. The speakers discussed the federal approach to emergency management, federal resources available, how to formulate and execute an emergency management plan, managing media relations, liability concerns, and more. Access the recording here to gain legal and practical insights on school emergency planning and response from authorities who have advised and guided school districts after school shootings.

Additional Resources

School Shootings and Student Mental Health - What Lies Beneath the Tip of the Iceberg
Child psychiatrist Will Dikel, a nationally-known consultant to school districts on addressing the mental health needs of students, suggests a mental health services model that allows schools to stay out of diagnosis and treatment, and to address the educational needs of students.

Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression: Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools
Guidelines from a coalition of education and religious organizations, including NSBA, on balancing free speech and religious freedom rights while preventing bullying in public schools

State Anti-Bullying Statutes - Table
4/17/2012 - Newly updated! This chart compares current state statutes addressing bullying, summarizing key provisions including definitions, off-campus reach, and requirements placed on state and local educational agencies.

State Anti-Bullying Statutes - Definitions
2/16/2012 - Newly updated chart compares the definition of "bullying" in state anti-bullying laws. Note that some laws include "harassment" and/or "intimidation" as part of the definition of "bullying," while others separate the concepts.

State Educational Agency Model Anti-Bullying Policies and Other Resources
7/28/2011 Find model anti-bullying policies and other resources required by state anti-bullying laws in this chart.

Supplemental Materials on U.S.C.C.R. Briefing on Inter-Student Violence
May 2011 - These extensive materials, including an explanatory cover letter, provide a snap shot of the tireless work of state school boards associations and local districts to prevent and address bullying in schools.

NSBA Position Statement to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Briefing on Inter-Student Violence
School boards are dedicated to providing a safe learning environment, and to preventing and eliminating bullying and harassment in public schools.

ED Response to NSBA GC's Letter to ED on OCR Bullying Guidelines
ED's March 2011 letter to NSBA GC Francisco Negron responding to NSBA December 2010 letter to ED on OCR bullying guidelines

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010
An annual publication of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), in the U.S. Department of Education, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the U.S. Department of Justice, this report examines crime occurring in school as well as on the way to and from school.

NSBA's letter to the U.S. Department of Ed. on December 7, 2010
As you know, on October 26, 2010, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education issued a "Dear Colleague" Letter to school districts advising of the Department's initiative on bullying in schools. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) shares the deep concern for maintaining the safety of all students and ensuring safe learning environments. However, NSBA's review of the "Dear Colleague" letter identified a number of concerns that we raised in a letter to the Department on December 7, 2010.

NSBA Amicus Brief Warrington v. Tempe Elementary School District (Ariz. Sup. Ct.)
Negligence: school district's duty to students safely discharged from school bus.

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS)
This office of the U.S. Department of Education administers, coordinates, and recommends policy for improving and funding programs, research, and activities for violence and drug prevention in schools.

COSA eDocs Store resources on School Safety
A collection of downloadable resources available individually for purchase from the NSBA Council of School Attorneys (COSA) for modest fees.

Bullying and Harassment in Schools: An Educational DVD
This complete training package of DVD and materials for school district employees and administrators is produced by Texas Association of School Boards Legal Services and provides vignettes and legal information to equip school personnel to recognize, report, and respond to employee-to-employee sexual harassment; employee-to-employee racial and other harassment; employee-to-student sexual harassment; student-to-student sexual and other harassment; and student-to-student bullying. This resource is not specific to Texas law. More information on how a school district can use this tool is available here. (List $332.00).

Dealing with Legal Matters Surrounding Students’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
This Fall 2004 publication by an NSBA-led coalition of organizations provides practical guidance on schools’ legal responsibilities with respect to issue of students' sexual orientation, including harassment and bullying, curriculum, and other school programs and policies.

Post-9/11 Issues Affecting School Districts
2004 COSA Advocacy Seminar presentation, by Maree F. Sneed and John W. Borkowski, Hogan & Hartson L.L.P.

Court Allows Preventive Detention to Avert School Violence
Article published January 2002 issue of the NSBA Council of School Attorneys newsletter, Inquiry & Analysis, on the use of preventive, rather than disciplinary, detentions, as a preventative measure.

NSBA Guidelines: Disciplining Students for Serious Offenses
Article in the January 2002 issue of the NSBA Council of School Attorneys newsletter, Inquiry & Analysis, providing NSBA's statement on "zero tolerance" policies.

School Policies and Legal Issues Supporting Safe Schools
A publication of the Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence at George Washington University and the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, this guide addresses the development and implementation of school policies that support safe schools. It includes an overview of guiding principles when developing policies at the district level to prevent violence by students, as well as specific policy and legal considerations that relate to both preventive and responsive interventions on topics such as due process, threats of violence, searches, zero tolerance, dress codes, and cooperation with law enforcement.

CyberSmart! Cyberbullying Curriculum Package
NSBA's Technology Leadership Network is pleased to partner with CyberSmart! to distribute the free CyberSmart! cyberbullying prevention lessons to schools nationwide. The standards-based K-12 lessons are based on the most current research on online victimization, using best practices from the field of character education. Teacher lesson plans, student activity sheets, home connections, prevention activities, and optional Web 2.0 strategies are included.

No Rite of Passage: Coming to Grips with Harassment and Bullying
August 2006 issue of NSBA newsletter Leadership Insider. Includes articles on legal liability for harassment and bullying; cyberbullying; and finding common ground on divisive issues like how to deal with harassment based on sexual orientation.

Additional online resources on harassment and bullying
Collection of online resources accompanying the August 2006 issue of NSBA newsletter Leadership Insider, including those discussed in the articles.

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