Key Takeaways From the Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety

January 7, 2019
Safety Insight

In December 2018, the U.S. Department of Education released a report compiled by the recently-formed Federal Commission on School Safety. The Commission was created in response to the school shootings in early 2018, specifically at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe High School in Texas. The Commission was designed to research and recommend solutions to advance the safety of schools in the United States.

The comprehensive report covers a wide range of topics and issues related to school security and student safety. The main conclusion of the report is: “There is no universal school safety plan that will work for every school across the country.” Essentially, the issue of school safety is complex, and complicating the issue are the various sizes of schools, different geographies, and other variables that prevent a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Policymakers’ immediate response and focus have been on the physical security of the school buildings themselves, and the debate continues about arming more staff members. What is clear is everyone plays a role in making schools more secure — from ensuring that physical buildings are secure to knowing how to respond to any given situation.

The Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety was drafted directly in response to the Parkland and Santa Fe school shootings, and it weighs heavily the tactics to prevent, protect, mitigate, and prepare for the next active shooter event. There will be a continued emphasis on solutions that center on active shooter events, but early detection, student assessments, and discipline will also be new points of emphasis.

One conclusion that can be drawn from the report is that preventing school violence and increasing safety is everyone’s responsibility. The report details many areas where recommendations reach beyond classrooms and schools and into the community. CrisisGo offers an infographic that supports these recommendations.

Here is a synopsis of the Commission’s findings, which fall into three broad categories: Prevent, Protect and Mitigate, and Respond and Recover.


Protect and Mitigate

Respond and Recover

The issue of school safety is complex, and while a “one-size-fits-all” approach will not work, one constant that permeates through the Commission’s final report is the notion that school safety is not just the responsibility of a few. From students and staff in the classrooms, to district leaders and safety personnel, to first responders and community members — it is apparent that everyone plays a role in making schools safer.

How will you contribute to making your school safer in 2019?

Chris Buecksler