Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

School Safety Should Top Federal Agencies’ Agenda

October 17, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

The past few weeks have again shown us why school safety should remain a priority for the U.S. departments of Justice and Education both (“School Shootings in Policy Spotlight,” Oct. 11, 2006).

In the year following the tragedy at Columbine High School, our federal leaders scrambled to come up with responses to the media stories that then captured America’s attention. The Justice Department, through its office of community-oriented policing services, or COPS, began to fund the COPS in Schools grant program. Training was readily made available (although not at the level it should have been), and dollars flowed into the Education Department’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools, or SDFS, program. While school-related deaths continued to occur at record numbers during the following years, the strategies seemed to prevent multiple-victim shootings. And the Education Department continued to boast about school crime dropping (despite no national school-crime-reporting mandates). Over the past five years, budget cuts have seen the COPS in Schools program dismantled and substantial cuts made to the SDFS program and school crisis-preparation grants. Now we are again back at square one. Another presidential powwow has just been convened to review and lay out the latest school safety strategies.

But what about re-funding the programs we cut? What about a mandatory school-crime-reporting bill? What about mandating external school safety audits? Will the Education Department finally understand that fear among students is not a good thing for the learning environment? Will it learn that the “school crime is down” rhetoric simply adds to the problem as communities decide how to spend their dollars?

Curtis S. Lavarello

Executive Director

School Safety Advocacy Council

Osprey, Fla.

A version of this article appeared in the October 18, 2006 edition of Education Week as School Safety Should Top Federal Agencies’ Agenda

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Letter to the Editor EdWeek's Most-Read Letters of 2022
Here are this year’s top five Letters to the Editor.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words Withstanding Trauma, Leading With Honesty, and More: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our journalists highlight why stories on the impact of trauma on schooling and the fallout of the political discourse on race matter to the field.
4 min read
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
Kladys Castellón prays during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Billy Calzada/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
Education In Their Own Words Masking, Miscarriages, and Mental Health: The Education Stories That Stuck With Us
Our reporters share the stories they wrote that rose above the fray—and why.
5 min read
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Crystal Curtis and her son, Jordan Curtis, outside their home in Plano, Texas. Crystal, a healthcare professional whose son attends school in Plano talks about the challenges of ensuring quality schooling, her discomfort with the state and district’s rollback of mandatory masking, and the complications of raising a Black child in a suburban district as policies shift.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week
Education Opinion The Top 10 Rick Hess Straight Up Columns of 2022
NAEP, pre-K, who decides what gets taught. Those are among the most popular or impactful posts of the year.
2 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty