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

School Safety Events and Opportunities

September 2023

Latest News

September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that can happen at any time. Emergency planning is a key component of school safety that can include large-scale actions or everyday activities that help build a safe school environment. This month and all year long, take a proactive approach to school emergency planning by accessing resources and information from Parents and educators can also find activities to teach children about disaster preparedness through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Kids

ED Announces New Supports to Increase Reach of Mental Health Services and Professionals in Schools
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a $2.6 million award to support mental health services and professionals in schools. The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System will establish a national Mental Health Evaluation, Training, Research, and Innovation Center for Schools (METRICS) to increase support and offer new resources for schools nationwide on training mental health professionals and providing school-based mental health services. The new METRICS Center will support grantees of ED's two programs for increasing the number of mental health providers in schools – School-Based Mental Health and Mental Health Services Professionals. METRICS will also distribute resources to states, districts, and schools nationwide to help them implement high-quality projects to address the social, emotional, and mental health needs of PK-12 students and increase the number of school-based mental health services providers.

Register Now for the 2023 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security
Registration is now open for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) 2023 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security. This two-day, virtual event on November 1-2, 2023, will convene school safety experts, practitioners, and leaders from across the country to discuss current threats in school safety and explore research-informed strategies for addressing security challenges and risks in K-12 schools. Sessions are planned for all members of the K-12 community and will focus on issues such as cybersecurity, positive school climate and whole student support, violence prevention and early intervention, recovery from school tragedies, youth suicide prevention, school safety grants, and student mental health and social media. 

NCES Releases 2022 Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the statistical center within ED's Institute of Education Sciences, released the 25th edition of Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2022. The report, a joint effort of the Bureau of Justice Statistics and NCES, compiles and presents the most recent national data on issues such as student victimization, teacher safety, and school shootings. It leverages data from various sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, and educational institutions as well as administrative data sources.

DHS Awards $20 Million in Effort to Prevent Targeted Violence and Terrorism
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded 34 grants, totaling $20 million, through the Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2023. The TVTP Grant Program is the sole U.S. federal government grant program dedicated to helping local communities combat targeted violence and terrorism. It provides financial assistance to eligible applicants to develop targeted violence and terrorism prevention programming, pilot innovative prevention approaches, and identify prevention best practices that can be replicated in communities nationwide.

CISA Announces Cybersecurity Pledge with K-12 Education Software Providers
CISA announced a voluntary Secure by Design pledge for K-12 education technology software manufacturers to commit to designing products with greater security built in. The initiative aims to address K-12 cybersecurity issues at the foundation and ensure that schools and administrators have access to safer and more secure technology and software. As of September 1, CISA has received commitments from six K-12 software technology providers, including some of the largest providers of K-12 education software in the United States.

DHS Releases 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment
DHS released the 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment (HTA), which continues to identify a high risk of foreign and domestic terrorism in 2024. The HTA provides the public and the Department’s partners with a detailed report on the most pressing threats to the United States as part of the federal government’s continuing effort to assist them in preparing for, preventing, and responding to the diverse and dynamic threat environment. It covers topic areas and threats related to public safety, border and immigration, critical infrastructure, and economic security. 

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Adds American Sign Language Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Callers
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline's addition of nationwide American Sign Language services for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, as part of ongoing efforts to expand accessibility to behavioral health care for underserved communities. The 988 Lifeline is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers supported by HHS through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for anyone looking for help with suicide, mental health, and substance use-related crises.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Grants and Funding Opportunities

State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (Deadline: October 6)

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (Ongoing)

Project SERV (Ongoing)

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

Events, Webinars, and Conferences

School Safety Federal Training and Technical Assistance Centers Webinar Recording (Recorded) – This archived webinar features information on federal school safety training and technical assistance centers and how they can support members of the K-12 community. The session specifically focuses on resources related to school safety, school climate, and student mental health supports. Please use the password SchoolSafety1 to access the recording. 

Anonymous Reporting System (ARS) Response Skill Building Panel (September 28) – This webinar, hosted by the National Center for School Safety and the first in a two-part series, will feature a diverse panel of school safety professionals who will speak about coordinated approaches to tip scenarios. Panelists will share resources that have been helpful to them and will discuss the interface between threat assessment teams and triaging tips.

Cybersecurity Best Practices and Hacker-Proofing Your School (October 11) – This webinar, hosted by ED’s Student Privacy Policy Office, provides training on data security best practices for education data systems and leads participants through a series of exercises designed to illustrate the thought process of hackers and how to stymie them. This event is part of the National Student Data Security Summit Webinar Series.

Bullying Prevention and Preparedness Modelling (October 12) – This webinar, hosted by the National Center for School Safety and the conclusion of a two-part series, will feature experts who will share upstream practices that will help schools reduce instances of bullying. Panelists will also discuss best practices for involving school staff and broaching conversations with students, as well as provide examples of tangible bullying responses and clear ways to act on ARS tips.

Preventing Youth Hate Crimes and Identity-Based Bullying Virtual Symposium (October 17-18) – This two-day virtual symposium, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, coincides with Bullying Prevention Month and will focus on how to prevent extremist hate groups from radicalizing youth and provide bullying prevention strategies for young people. It will address various topics surrounding this initiative, including current research and trends, how best to support vulnerable youth, and how to mitigate the influence of media and technology to recruit and radicalize youth.

Defensible & Resilient K-12 Digital Infrastructure and National Student Data Security Panel (October 18) – This webinar, hosted by ED’s Student Privacy Policy Office, will explore best practices for strengthening education data systems across the industry and bring together thought leaders and subject matter experts to further discuss student data security. This event is part of the National Student Data Security Summit Webinar Series.

Swatting and Hoax Considerations and Response (October 24) – This webinar, hosted by the National Center for School Safety, will feature a roundtable discussion with a school-based team that has recently dealt with a swatting incident. Presenters will share how they addressed the threat at the moment, ensured the community was informed, and improved their existing operations plans.

2023 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security (November 1-2) – This two-day virtual event, hosted by CISA, will convene school safety experts, practitioners, and leaders to discuss current threats in school safety and explore research-informed strategies for addressing security challenges and risks in K-12 schools. The event will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, and master class sessions with government, private sector, and school safety community leaders, who will share information and resources on issues such as violence prevention and early intervention, cybersecurity, positive school climate, planning and resourcing for school safety, and student mental health.

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

Back to top

School Safety Resources

Child Exploitation Resources

Blue Campaign Resources
This webpage houses a collection of campaign materials, trainings, and videos from the Blue Campaign. Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign designed to educate the public, law enforcement, and other industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases.

Take It Down
This free service can help remove or stop the online sharing of nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit images or videos taken of youth when they were under 18 years old. Take It Down allows users to remain anonymous while using the service and will work on public or unencrypted online platforms that have agreed to participate.

Mental Health Resources

Suicide Prevention Resource for Action
This resource details the strategies with the best available evidence to reduce suicide. It can help states and communities prioritize suicide prevention activities most likely to have an impact, and the programs, practices, and policies included can be tailored to the needs of populations and communities.

Trauma: Responding to Crises and Fostering Recovery
This webpage houses resources to help caregivers and families understand the signs and dangers of stress in young children and includes strategies to promote resilience and support positive outcomes.

Additional School Safety Resources

Emergency Planning Strategies and Resources for the K-12 Community
This infographic provides an overview of emergency planning strategies and aligned resources that schools and school districts can use to support the implementation of emergency planning initiatives and bolster preparedness.

PASS School Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools (6th Edition)
These updated guidelines provide best practices specifically for securing K-12 school facilities, including elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. The PASS School Security Checklist also allows users to assess the current state of safety and security efforts in their school or district compared to nationwide best practices.

Virtual Healthy School
This interactive tool shows schools how to support the health and academic achievement of students through the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. It is designed for K-12 school staff, staff in state and local departments of health or education, and agencies who have an interest in meeting the needs of the whole child, which includes providing students with opportunities to improve their dietary and physical activity behaviors and manage their chronic health conditions.

Visit for additional resources to support school safety and security efforts.

Back to top

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future newsletters, please contact us at 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.