The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), are launching the Georgia Center for School Safety, a website clearinghouse to distribute school safety resources and updated training to Georgia schools and community partners.
The site allows school and district staff, community partners, and the public to access school safety training, resources, and guidelines. Web and in-person trainings are available on active shooter response, bus safety, de-escalation, emergency operations planning, school safety assessments, severe weather, and more.
“Student safety is our absolute top priority,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I appreciate the partnership and expertise of GEMA/HS as we work together to ensure schools have the resources they need to focus on prevention and ensure a safe and secure environment for the students, faculty, and staff in Georgia’s public schools.”
“Georgia continues to advance when it comes to school safety,” said GEMA/HS Director Chris Stallings. “Thanks to our partnership with the Department of Education, we’ve updated the School Safety Plan Template and Guide to ensure that schools have guidelines on creating their own plan for natural and man-made disasters.”
The Georgia Center for School Safety work was completed through a Bureau of Justice Assistance STOP School Violence Grant. The grant program improves school security by providing students and teachers with the tools they need to recognize, prevent, plan, and respond to violent acts.
About School Safety in Georgia
Every public school in Georgia is required to have a school safety plan, and to conduct drills on that plan. Plans address school violence prevention training, mental health awareness, school security measures, partnerships with public safety officials, and more, and are developed in coordination with local law enforcement and the local juvenile court system and approved by the local emergency management agency and law enforcement agency. GaDOE and GEMA/HS provide support and training as districts develop their school safety plans.
The state has continued to invest in funding for school security investments, including $69 million in school security grants to every K-12 public school in 2019. Additionally, many safety expenditures are allowable uses of federal ESSER funding.
Each year, GaDOE and GEMA/HS host the Georgia School Safety & Homeland Security Conference, which provides training and resources for teachers, school administrators, school counselors, school resources officers, public safety personnel, law enforcement and emergency management personnel.
GaDOE also offers Mental Health Awareness Training to all educators within the state of Georgia, and is currently working to expand offerings to include training for students and families/communities.
See additional information on school safety actions taken in Georgia is available here.