Recent events across the country have renewed the nation’s focus on protecting the students and staff in our schools. The debate on school safety is raging and people are wrestling with what school districts can do to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again. The education community understands that the problems and challenges facing our school leadership go beyond individual roles and even district boundaries.
The solution to school violence is not one dimensional and requires an ongoing effort in a multidisciplinary approach. The inclusion of mental health services, safety measures, improved safety features for school buildings and increased training must be enhanced to ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.
Ohio ACTE is part of a coalition planning a School Security and Safety Solutions Summit on Sept. 12, 2018, in Columbus. The event will be free of charge and is designed for district teams including administrators, board members, educators, school counselors, school psychologists, support staff, mental health professionals, parent leaders, law enforcement and other first responders.
The coalition also is asking for your help. If you have implemented successful practices for school safety that you are willing to discuss with the rest of the state, please share your expertise and experience and speak at this event. Any topics are welcome at this time, but we are particularly interested in the following subjects:
- Identification of resources
- School climate
- Supporting children and families
- Managing mental health
- Roles of school psychologists and counselors
- De-escalation techniques
- Stadiums/extracurricular activities
- Bus safety
- Legal aspects of arming staff
- Building plan evaluations
- Law enforcement
- First responders
- Threat assessment
- Emergency management plans
- Collaboration with local and county governments
To propose a topic, use the online form at http://conference.ohioschoolboards.org/nominate. Nominations will close on June 8, 2018.
Ohio ACTE is taking part in a collaborative effort involving a multitude of education groups, mental health organizations and law enforcement agencies to address the issues surrounding the safety and security of Ohio’s schools. Nearly 20 groups have committed themselves to working together to make a difference for the schoolchildren of this state. They have developed both short- and long-term goals that focus on mental health, safety procedures and training, cooperative relationships between law enforcement and school districts, weapons in schools, family and parental involvement and more. The groups involved include:
· Buckeye Association of School Administrators;
· National Alliance on Mental Illness – Ohio;
· Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education;
· Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators;
· Ohio Association of Public School Employees;
· Ohio Association of School Business Officials;
· Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators;
· Ohio Department of Education;
· Ohio Homeland Security;
· Ohio Education Association;
· Ohio Educational Service Center Association;
· Ohio Federation of Teachers;
· Ohio High School Athletic Association;
· Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services;
· Ohio PTA;
· Ohio School Boards Association;
· Ohio School Counselors Association;
· Ohio School Psychologists Association;
· Ohio School Resource Officers Association.