Virginia

In 2018, the Police Foundation staff conducted a comprehensive public domain scan of state legislation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the following aspects of school safety and security:

  • facility security and assessment requirements;
  • creation, and identification of roles and responsibilities for state school safety centers and school safety teams/committees;
  • requirements for school administrators and faculty;
  • allocation of funds for improving school safety and security; and
  • all-hazards emergency planning and preparedness.

The Police Foundation also reviewed legislation and amendments passed by state legislatures and signed into law following the mass violence attacks at schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas. Seven states—Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—officially codified new significant school safety and security laws that address at least one of the aspects mentioned above. The legislative review utilized open source research, and encompasses all legislation that was officially codified by September 11, 2018.

The highlighted states on the map represent examples of states with comprehensive school safety legislation and promising practices.

 

PROMISING PRACTICES

  • Requires the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety to provide training for stakeholders; develop, review, and disseminate resources and legislation; facilitate the annual school safety audits; provide technical assistance; and, develop partnerships to promote school safety and campus in Virginia.
  • Requires all schools to conduct annual school safety audits, that include a walk-through and written assessment of the physical safety conditions, including building security issues, and are made available to the chief local law enforcement officer with jurisdiction over the school.
  • Requires the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety and the Department of Education to develop a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated during school safety audits, incorporating the principles of crime prevention through environmental design.
  • Requires the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, the Coordinator of Emergency Management, and the Board of Education to develop a model school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan for the purpose of assisting public schools in developing their response plans.
  • Requires each superintendent to establish a school safety audit committee to review the completed audits and submit plans for improving school safety.
  • Requires each school to have a written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan and to provide copies of it to the chief law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, and emergency management official of the jurisdiction that is reviewed annually, no later than August 31 of each year.
  • Authorizes $6.0 million per year in grant funding through five-year equipment notes issued by the Virginia Public School Authority, with the debt service paid from the Literary Fund. (This equates to $3333 per school.)

State Of Virginia

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