July 2024 School Safety Community Bulletin: Events, Opportunities, and Resources

School Safety Events and Opportunities

July 2024

Latest News

U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on the Public Health Crisis of Firearm Violence
The United States Surgeon General released a Surgeon General’s Advisory on Firearm Violence, declaring firearm violence in America a public health crisis. Over the last decade, the number of people who have died from firearm-related injuries has been rising, and firearm violence is now the leading cause of death among children and adolescents. The new advisory details the impact of gun violence on the health and well-being of the American public, describing the layers of cascading harm beyond injury and death, and outlines an evidence-informed public health approach to addressing this crisis.

SAMHSA Issues Guidance on Using Federal Funding for LGBTQI+ Youth Mental Health Services
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published guidance to states and communities on using federal funding to support mental health services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex (LGBTQI+), and other gender diverse youth. LGBTQI+ youth face a nationwide mental health crisis, and almost half of LGBTQI+ children and adolescents say they seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. This guidance outlines how states and communities can use SAMHSA funding to support mental health services for LGBTQI+ youth with examples from grantees.

NCES Releases Data on School Preparedness and Safety Procedures
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released new data from the School Pulse Panel, a study collecting information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from a national sample of K-12 public schools. Key findings from the study include data on school emergency procedures, emergency drills, and threat assessment. According to the panel, 98 percent of public schools surveyed have a written plan that describes procedures to be performed in response to an active assailant emergency, and 59 percent of public schools drilled (or will drill) students on the use of emergency procedures for an active assailant.

Save The Date: 2024 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced it will host the 2024 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security on September 25 and 26. This virtual event brings together K-12 school leaders and practitioners to discuss and share actionable recommendations that enhance safe and supportive learning environments. Sessions will address topics such as youth violence, K-12 cybersecurity, student mental wellness, emergency planning and physical security, youth online safety, and intervention practices. Registration for the 2024 Summit will open in late July.

DHS Know2ProtectTM Aims to Keep Children Safe Online in Summer Months through #DigitalBoundaries Campaign
The Department of Homeland Security's Know2Protect: Together We Can Stop Online Child ExploitationTM office launched #DigitalBoundaries, a new sub-campaign that helps educate and empower children, teens, parents and trusted adults to set healthy online boundaries during the summer months and beyond. As part of the effort, Know2Protect has produced a new suite of tips, checklists, and conversation starters to keep children safe as they spend more time online over summer break.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Grants and Funding Opportunities

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

Events, Webinars, and Conferences

School Mental Health Virtual Learning Series: Implementing Policies and Practices to Support LGBTQ+ Youth in Schools, Part 2 (July 9) – This webinar, hosted by the Central East Mental Health Technology Transfer Center in collaboration with the National Center for School Mental Health, will provide information on systemic and environmental variables that contribute to mental health disparities among LGBTQ+ youth along with strategies to develop safe, welcoming, and LGBTQ+-affirming environments.

Enhancing School Safety Using Behavioral Threat Assessment (July 11, September 12, November 20) – These virtual training events, hosted by the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), will highlight key findings and implications of NTAC’s research on school violence prevention. This training will also provide guidance on how schools may develop or improve existing violence prevention programs utilizing a behavioral threat assessment model.

Healing School Communities in the Context of Faith-Based Bullying (July 23 and 25) – This two-part virtual conversation series, hosted by the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center’s School Mental Health Initiative, will examine recent data that can help drive school mental health leadership, policies, and programs that foster safety for students and staff, specifically those who are experiencing high levels of xenophobia, exclusion, and scapegoating.

Preventing Mass Attacks in Our Communities (August 7, October 1, December 18) – These virtual training events, hosted by NTAC, will cover findings from NTAC’s research on mass attacks perpetrated in public and semi-public spaces, including businesses, houses of worship, schools, and more. This training will also provide guidance on how communities may develop or improve existing violence prevention programs utilizing a behavioral threat assessment model.

Responding to Bias and Discrimination in Schools (August 14) – This interactive workshop, hosted by the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, will provide an overview of the current context of bias and discrimination in schools, share individual sentence stems and systemic interventions to address biased language and behavior, and provide time to practice and integrate learnings into plans for the next school year.

Save the Date: 2024 National Summit on K-12 School Safety and Security (September 25 and 26) – This virtual event, hosted by CISA, will bring together K-12 school leaders and practitioners to discuss and share actionable recommendations that enhance safe and supportive learning environments. Registration will open in late July.

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

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School Safety Resources

Public Health Resources

Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools
This website features resources for schools to promote a safe, healthy learning environment by improving indoor air quality and breathability.

Toolkit for Sustainable and Healthy Schools
This toolkit provides information on federal funds, programs, technical support, and other resources available to address school infrastructure needs and make school buildings healthier and more sustainable.

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child
This resource provides an overview of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model, a student-centered framework for addressing health in schools. This model emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school, the connections between health and academic achievement, and the importance of evidence-based school policies and practices.

Mental Health and Youth Substance Use Prevention Resources

Embrace, Encourage, & Engage: Family & Caregiver Access to Child & Youth Mental Health Resources
This recorded webinar provides parents and caregivers with tools and skills to support their children’s mental health.

Talking with Your Teen About Vaping
This brochure details the risks associated with vaping and the importance of having conversations with children and adolescents to help them avoid substance use.

Additional School Safety Resources

Restorative Practices at a Glance
This resource provides an overview of restorative practices and outlines facts and common misunderstandings.

Understanding Firearm-Related Injury and School Violence Series
This podcast interview series provides information on the intersection of school safety strategies and firearm-related injury. Episodes cover topics such as youth suicide prevention, anonymous reporting systems, and community engagement.

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.