April 2023 School Safety Community Bulletin: Events, Opportunities, and Resources

School Safety Events and Opportunities

April 2023

Latest News

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
National Child Abuse Prevention Month highlights the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. Because of the regular interaction between educators and students, school personnel are uniquely positioned to support students facing abuse and exploitation, and can help identify and report suspected cases and connect victims to critical services. Learn more about what the K-12 school community can do to prevent and respond to child exploitation here.

School Safety Funding Available Through STOP School Violence Program
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has several school safety and security funding opportunities currently available, with application periods open until various dates in May. Solicitations include the STOP School Violence Program, which provides funding to prevent and reduce violence in K-12 school settings through strategies that increase school safety; the School Violence Prevention Program, which provides awards to improve security at schools and on school grounds through evidence-based school safety programs and technology; and, the Enhancing School Capacity to Address Youth Violence program, which supports targeted efforts to address youth violence through evidence-based prevention and intervention efforts in a school-based setting. Find additional details and application deadlines for these and other DOJ funding opportunities here.

SAMHSA Releases Grants to Help Improve Youth Mental Health
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released funding opportunities to help increase mental health training, support, and access to resources for school personnel and students. Grants include the Mental Health Awareness Training program, which aims to train individuals such as school personnel to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders and provides education on resources available for individuals with mental illnesses, and the Cooperative Agreements for School-Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth program, which seeks to increase student access to trauma support services and mental health care. Additional funding for school-based mental health programs and services is also available through Project AWARE, which closes its application period on April 28.

Federal Agencies Offer Self-Conducted Tabletop Exercises to Assess Preparedness
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offer a range of exercises and preparedness tools to help schools prepare for emergency situations and threats. Use these resources to test your school’s or district’s emergency plans, protocols, and procedures and to initiate preparedness discussions within your community. Learn more by accessing the exercises from DHS, CISA, and FEMA.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Grants and Funding Opportunities

April Deadlines

May Deadlines

Ongoing Deadlines

Informational Webinars on Funding Opportunities 

Visit the SchoolSafety.gov Grants Finder Tool for additional school safety-related funding opportunities.

Events, Webinars, and Conferences

Student Privacy and Data Security Spring Webinar Series: Data Security and Data Breach Response (April 19) – This webinar, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Privacy Policy Office, through its Privacy Technical Assistance Center, will provide information on data security best practices for education data systems, including user privacy and security awareness, privacy and security program development/implementation, threat modeling, and attacker methodology. It will also include a walkthrough of a simulated data breach and best practices for schools, districts, and universities looking to build or enhance their cyber incident response capabilities.

“Talk. They Hear You.” Campaign Relaunch Event (May 8) – This virtual event will kick off SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week, a national effort showcasing the work of communities and organizations dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of substance misuse prevention and positive mental health. During the event, attendees will learn about the “Talk. They Hear You.”® Campaign (TTHY), an initiative to reduce underage drinking and substance use, and hear from featured partners about how they have implemented TTHY in their communities. Find additional National Prevention Week events and activities here.

School Mental Health Virtual Learning Series: Collaboration Between School and Community Settings Development of Meaningful and Sustainable Partnerships Between Schools and Community Partners (May 9) – The last webinar in this series hosted by the Central East Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, in collaboration with the National Center for School Mental Health, will focus on advancing high quality, sustainable school mental health from a multitiered system of support, trauma sensitive, and culturally responsive and equitable lens.

Visit the SchoolSafety.gov Events Page for additional school safety-related webinars, conferences, and more.

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School Safety Resources

Child Exploitation Resources

Child Sex Trafficking Overview
This resource provides an overview of and trends on child sex trafficking as well as the signs associated with child sex trafficking so trusted adults and professionals can recognize potential red flags or indicators.

How to Talk to Youth about Human Trafficking: A Guide for Youth Caretakers and Individuals Working with Youth
This guide includes information about what human trafficking is, how to recognize it among youth, tips for talking to youth about general exploitation, information about building life skills that may help prevent youth from being trafficked, and reporting options if you suspect a youth is affected by human trafficking or being exploited.

Human Trafficking 101 for School Administrators and Staff
This resource offers a definition of human trafficking, a brief overview of who is at risk, and behavioral, physical, and social indicators of trafficking that might be observed by school personnel. It also includes the number to call to report suspected trafficking, and a reminder about the importance of engaging law enforcement in order to protect students' and staff's safety.

Additional School Safety Resources

This webpage provides information and resources about norovirus, including common symptoms and prevention strategies.

Partnering to Safeguard K-12 Organizations from Cybersecurity Threats
This report provides recommendations and resources to help K-12 schools and school districts address systemic cybersecurity risk. It also provides insight into the current threat landscape specific to the K-12 community and offers simple steps school leaders can take to strengthen their cybersecurity efforts.

Targeted Violence Prevention Resources for K-12 Schools
This infographic features information on targeted violence and strategies and resources available to help prevent, protect against, and mitigate targeted violence incidents in schools.

Visit SchoolSafety.gov for additional school safety resources.

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If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future newsletters, please contact us at SchoolSafety@hq.dhs.gov. Follow @SchoolSafetyGov on Twitter for additional school safety updates.

SchoolSafety.gov Disclaimer
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Education (ED), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) do not endorse any individual, enterprise, product, or service. DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS do not mandate or prescribe practices, models, or other activities described in this communication. DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information outside of those respective Departments, and the opinions expressed in any of these materials do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS.