A Toolkit for K-12 Learning Institutions and Law Enforcement

Toolkit Part 3: Securing Schools are Part of Healthy Learning Environments

The physical security of schools is not just critical to protecting against all types of incidents of school violence, it is an integral part of promoting healthy learning environments for America’s children. However, while safety and security have always been an important part of school planning and design, when schools implement stringent security measures, school administrators, law enforcement and parents sometimes begin to question the appropriate level of physical security. How can schools ensure security without seeming fortified, or disrupting the healthy learning environment? Striking a balance between school security and healthy learning environments is a challenge that is still being further explored. Keeping the momentum of efforts to secure schools is paramount, and continually cultivating an environment conducive to learning is critical.

This brief explores the relationship between safety and a healthy learning environment.

Toolkit Part 2: Partner Roles and Responsibilities for Securing Schools 

Stakeholders throughout the community have important support roles to play in school preparedness and security, and can help further the conversation about improving security standards. Finding ways to engage local law enforcement, while developing formalized partnerships with administrators enhances school security from the local level. At the same time, parents/guardians can be more involved in ensuring that the schools they entrust their children to have appropriate preparedness and security plans. Even businesses have a role in taking the initiative to provide low-cost or no-cost trainings, while the media can bring the community together to identify and address security and preparedness gaps.

This brief expands upon some of the roles and responsibilities of each support stakeholder, and can serve as the beginning of community-wide discussions related to school safety and security.

Toolkit Part 1: Starting the Conversation About School Safety

Enhancing security in schools and improving preparedness is the collaborative responsibility of all involved in the community, with leadership from homeland security and law enforcement policymakers and executives. This toolkit provides: promising practices in educational facility safety and security legislation, protocols, and plans nationwide; sample K-12 facility safety and security checklists and memoranda of understanding; roles and responsibilities of partners and stakeholders; and strategies, mechanisms, and technologies to address the issues that arise from starting the conversation.