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

School Safety Events and Opportunities

October 2023

Latest News

October is National Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying is a widespread issue in K-12 schools and can lead to many negative outcomes for those involved. It can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety, have lasting impacts on student mental health, and in some instances, can play a role in school violence. Reducing bullying behavior in schools requires a multi-faceted approach that includes immediate response and appropriate consequences and support for serious incidents. This National Bullying Prevention Month, learn about the
strategies and resources available to help school leaders, teachers, parents, and other members of the community prevent and address bullying and create safer school environments.

ED Announces Technical Assistance Centers to Support Student Wellbeing
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced technical assistance centers to support state and local efforts to support and enhance student wellbeing, academic success, and school safety. These include the Student Support and Academic Enrichment and Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) Stronger Connections Technical Assistance Center, which supports students' academic achievement by enhancing state and community capacity to: (1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, (2) enhance safe and positive school conditions for student learning, and (3) foster the responsible use of technology to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students. In addition, the Center will provide technical assistance and capacity-building support to BSCA Stronger Connections grantees.

HHS Awards $131.7 Million to Support At-risk Youth and Families
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, announced $131.7 million awarded in grant programs that connect youth and families to behavioral health services. Awards include $2.4 million to Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health (Project LAUNCH), which promotes the wellness of young children by addressing the social, emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral aspects of their development; $5.5 million to Cooperative Agreements for School-Based Trauma-Informed Support Services and Mental Health Care for Children and Youth, which increases student access to evidence-based and culturally relevant trauma support services and mental health care; and $16.4 million to Healthy Transitions: Improving Life Trajectories for Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Disorders Program, which improves and expands access to appropriate services and supports for transition-aged youth and young adults who either have, or are at risk for developing, serious mental health conditions.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month Provides Resources and Tools to Stay Safe Online
This October marks the 20
th Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated time for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. As part of these efforts, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the launch of “Secure Our World,” a nationwide cybersecurity public awareness campaign to educate all Americans on how to stay safe online. The program is focused on four simple steps everyone can take to make their digital world more secure. Learn more about the campaign and find Cybersecurity Awareness Month resources on CISA.gov.

White House Establishes First-Ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention
The White House announced the establishment of the first-ever Office of Gun Violence Prevention to reduce gun violence and implement and expand upon key executive and legislative actions, including the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The new office, which will be led by Vice President Kamala Harris, will also coordinate support for survivors, families, and communities affected by gun violence; identify new actions to reduce gun violence; and expand partnerships with states and cities.

HHS Awards Funding for Digital and School-Based Programs Aimed at Protecting Youth from Human Trafficking
HHS, through the Administration for Children and Families, awarded $1.9 million to four local education agencies to partner with expert non-profit organizations and build school-wide capacity to identify and address students’ risk for human trafficking in their communities. The awards are part of the Human Trafficking Youth Prevention Education Demonstration Program, which builds skills and establishes a protocol for handling suspected and confirmed cases of trafficking in coordination with community-based providers, child welfare agencies and law enforcement. The program teaches students to recognize and respond to risks, identify recruitment tactics, and know how to access help.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program (Deadline: January 10)

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (Ongoing)

Project SERV (Ongoing)

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

Events, Webinars, and Conferences

CISA Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023: Keeping Software Up to Date (October 24) – This webinar, part of CISA’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month Webinar Series on key online safety behaviors, will feature cybersecurity experts discussing the importance of keeping software up to date.

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.

Preventing Bullying and Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth (October 26) – This Facebook Live event, hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) VetoViolence in observance of LGBTQ+ History Month and National Bullying Prevention Month, will feature speakers from CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, and The Trevor Project who will discuss preventing bullying and supporting LGBTQ+ youth.

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.

Early Psychosis 101: Basics for Supporting Students (November 1 & 15) – This virtual learning series, hosted by the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network, will focus on key aspects of early psychosis support for those working in school mental health in a variety of roles and settings. Sessions will focus on how to recognize students with early psychosis symptoms, link them to appropriate services, and create appropriate accommodations to support student academic success and mental wellbeing.

Enhancing School Safety Using Behavioral Threat Assessment (November 2, January 9, March 8) – This virtual training event, hosted by the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), will highlight the key findings and implications from NTAC’s research on school violence prevention. Attendees will learn about the background, thinking, and behavior of school attackers and how some schools discovered and stopped plots before violence occurred. This training will also provide guidance on how schools may develop or improve existing violence prevention programs utilizing a behavioral threat assessment model.

Preventing Mass Attacks in Our Communities (December 6, February 5, April 4) – This virtual training event, hosted by NTAC, will cover important findings from NTAC’s research on mass attacks perpetrated in public and semi-public spaces, including businesses, restaurants, bars, retail outlets, houses of worship, schools, open spaces, and more. This training will provide guidance on how communities may develop or improve existing violence prevention programs utilizing a behavioral threat assessment model.

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

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School Safety Resources

Bullying and Cyberbullying Resources

Bullying Prevention Strategies and Resources for K-12 Schools
This infographic includes an overview of bullying; strategies for schools to consider to help identify, prevent, and address bullying; and bullying and cyberbullying resources available through SchoolSafety.gov.

Dealing with Cyberbullies
This webpage provides an overview of what cyberbullying is, why it has become such a problem, and how to protect your children from it.

School Climate Resources

Exploring Equity Issues: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Classrooms: Inclusive Learning Strategies for Educators
This guide provides background on trauma and student trauma, offers recommendations on practices educators can use to create safe learning environments, and suggests resources for additional strategies.

Safe and Supportive Environments
This webpage provides an overview on creating safe and supportive school environments and includes information on strengthening school staff capacity, increasing student access to programs and services, and engaging parents and community partners.

Additional School Safety Resources

The NASSP Principal Recovery Network Guide to Recovery
This guide is a collection of personal best practices and practical advice from principals and assistant principals who led schools in recovery after a shooting.

School Tip Line Toolkit: A Blueprint for Implementation and Sustainability
This resource is designed to help educators, law enforcement professionals, community leaders, and school safety experts navigate key decisions and consider the factors necessary to support successful and efficient tip line implementation as part of an overall school safety strategy.

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

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If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future newsletters, please contact us at SchoolSafety@hq.dhs.gov

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.