U.S. Department of Education Announces New Grant Awards to Address School Safety and Improve Access to Mental Health Services

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced $71.6 million in new funding to enhance safety in schools and improve student access to mental health resources. The U.S. Department of Education made the awards under four grant programs, which support recommendations identified in the final report issued by the Federal Commission on School Safety. “Our nation’s schools must be safe places to learn, where students feel connected and supported,” said Secretary DeVos. “These grants allow local leaders to Read More

Federal Data Show Decreasing Rates of Bullying and Violence in Schools

BULLYING, VIOLENCE, crime and drug use in schools continue to decrease, as they have for much of the last two decades, despite public perception that schools have become less safe over the past 20 years. New federal data published Wednesday by the Departments of Education and Justice show that 20% of students ages 12 to 18 reported being bullied at school during the 2016-17 school year, the lowest since the federal government began collecting the information in Read More

Educators Endorse Safety Measures – Not Arming Teachers

THE TWO NATIONAL teachers union and a leading gun safety group called on federal and state lawmakers to pass a variety of gun laws to prevent future school shootings as part of a school safety report released Monday. The report, published by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, comes just days before Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, marks one year since a mass shooting Read More

One Virginia School District Sues State to Arm School Employees

LEE COUNTY, A POOR, rural community tucked into the southwestern most part of Virginia, is suing the state in an effort to allow its school employees to carry guns to combat a potential future active shooter scenario. “I was kind of afraid of this,” Lee County schools Superintendent Brian Austin says. “We were not intending to pick a battle in Richmond. We were just trying to do what we thought was best for Lee County.” But pick Read More

Federal Commission on School Safety Releases Comprehensive Resource Guide for Keeping Students, Teachers Safe at School

WASHINGTON—After months of research, visiting successful programs around the nation, and receiving testimony from experts and concerned citizens, today the Federal Commission on School Safety (Commission) released a 177-page report detailing 93 best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country. Utilizing the information gathered, the Commission report offers a holistic approach to improving school safety, ranging from supporting the social and emotional well-being of students to enhancing physical building security. Read More

Can Schools Use Federal Funds To Arm Teachers?

This question came up again and again Tuesday during an at-times heated hearing of the Senate’s education committee: Does the law allow schools to use federal money to arm teachers? The federal money in question comes from Title IV of the big, k-12 federal education law known as The Every Student Succeeds Act. It’s a billion-dollar pot intended for what the law calls “student support and academic enrichment.” “There’s a range of services that Title IV funds, Read More

Ready for a Shooter? 1 in 5 School Police Say No

One in five school police officers say their school is not prepared to handle an active-shooter situation, according to a nationally representative survey of school resource officers conducted by the Education Week Research Center. And some school police report they haven’t been adequately trained to work in schools. Some also say their schools don’t set limits on their role in student discipline, which civil rights groups say is necessary to protect the rights of students. School law Read More

LGBT Students Work to Ensure Safe and Supportive Schools for all Students

Yesterday, myself and four other LGBTQ Activists from GLSEN had the honor of sitting down with US Secretary of Education, Dr. John King, in his second to last day in office. Amid a changing administration, the Secretary offered his words of advice, and listened to our experiences as LGBTQ students as well as our hopes for inclusivity in the future of education.  I think all of us, both visitors from GLSEN and the staff at Read More