This Spotlight presents recent resources that provide insights and practical recommendations to facilitate meaningful discussions and strategic decision-making around school safety initiatives.

A Comprehensive Approach to School Safety

Reimagining School Safety: A Guide for Schools and Communities aims to assist education professionals in redefining and reimagining the concept of school safety. Instead of depicting safety as the mere absence of negative elements, it emphasizes the presence of positive attributes such as interconnection, belonging, voice, and agency. Furthermore, adopting this safety paradigm and prioritizing the experiences of students and families, especially those who have been marginalized historically, can serve as a crucial step in establishing more equitable and sustainable systems.

From the guide: This tendency to shape and control is deeply embedded in the design of safety and discipline policies and practices in educational settings, resulting in the creation of exclusionary forms of discipline, the placement of physical barriers around spaces of learning, and the increasing use of law enforcement on campuses to discipline and punish students, to name a few examples.

Download the guide.

What Do State School Safety Centers Do?

Research and Evaluation on School Safety: The Structure, Services, and Products of State School Safety CentersCommon vehicles used to maintain an organized and consolidated effort at the state level to address school safety are State School Safety Centers (SSSCs)—which provide a wide range of services to enhance school security.

Research and Evaluation on School Safety: The Structure, Services, and Products of State School Safety Centers, developed by WestEd’s Justice and Prevention Research Center (JPRC) and funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), is the second in a series that highlights findings from an evaluation of SSSCs.

Given the lack of information about the structure and functionality of SSSCs across the country, the report provides insights from in-depth interviews with SSSC directors to examine the school safety landscape in their states, the history and structure of the centers, the services offered by the centers, and the centers’ accomplishments and challenges.

Download the report.

How Parents and Caregivers Can Address Bullying

Family Guide to Supporting Mental Health and Well-Being. Information, Tips, and ResourcesProject Cal-Well, a cross-agency mental health initiative led by the California Department of Education, produced this easy-to-use guide with input from families, educators, mental health professionals, and youth. The Family Guide to Supporting Young People’s Mental Health and Well-Being: Information, Tips, and Resources helps parents, other adult family members, and caregivers support school-aged children’s overall well-being and mental health.

It offers information about young people’s social and emotional development and explains warning signs that may signal mental health challenges. It equips caregivers with targeted strategies, tools, and resources that help them advocate for their family, address each child’s specific needs, and access professional help. The guide includes a section on addressing bullying, including warning signs that a child may be involved in bullying.

Download the guide.

Subscribe to the E-Bulletin

Stay informed about WestEd’s research, resources, services, events, and career opportunities by subscribing to our E-Bulletin. Our October 2023, Volume 1, issue explores ways of addressing school safety.

The issue features resources about the following:

  • What Do State School Safety Centers Do?
  • Bullying Prevention Month: Q&A With Dr. Trevor Fronius
  • A Comprehensive Approach to School Safety
  • How Parents and Caregivers Can Prevent Bullying
  • Enhancing Public Health, Safety, and Justice Systems
  • Managing Behavioral Threat Assessment Programs
  • WestEd at the Annual American Society of Criminology Meeting
  • Restorative Justice in U.S. Schools: Experts Weigh In

View the October 2023, Volume 1, E-Bulletin.

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