School Safety Resources – New Jersey School Boards Association

NJSBA Task Force Reports

  • An updated report highlighting findings and insights from an NJSBA study, What makes schools safe? The report includes 15 additional recommendations on response and recovery, school law enforcement, cybersecurity, after-school safety, and more.
  • The report of the NJSBA Task Force on Mental Health Services in Public Schools, Building a Foundation of Hope, provides more than 70 recommendations, along with tips and best practices.

School safety in the news

School Board Notes: Legislative Update: Advancing Mental Health and School Safety Measures (6/14/2022)

Magazine: School Safety Roundtable (Spring 2022)

Headmaster Magazine: Special report on school safety (May/June 2018)

Items include:

General Resources

American School Counselor Association: webinars, guidelines, tips, videos and additional resources.

Center for resilience + well-being in schoolsUniversity of Colorado Boulder

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

Philadelphia Children’s Hospital

  • After the Injury – a website for families with injured children, which includes ways to help children recover.

Dylan’s Wings of Change, a nonprofit foundation named after a child who died in the Sandy Hook, Connecticut, shootings, provides youth-led social-emotional learning programs for children and professional development for adults.

Bereavement counseling
  • Melissa Brymer, director of terrorism and disaster programs at the UCLA-Duke Center for Child Traumatic Stress, [email protected]
  • Good Mourning, Princeton, NJ
  • National Children’s Bereavement Alliance, Northfield, NJ
  • Psychology Today, a list of grief therapists in New Jersey.
  • Reddjobb. Glenn Proctor, certified grief counselor, experience with PTSD, working with police crisis teams, veterans, suicide prevention and leadership training.

The National Network on Traumatic Stress in Children:

Confronting Mass Violence: For Adults.

Moms Demand Action, community-led services for survivors of gun violence.

National Association of School Psychologists, Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.

National Education Association, School Crisis Guide, a step-by-step overview of what to do before, during and after any school or community crisis.

The National Resource Center on Mass Violence and Victimization

National Alliance on Mental Illness, one-on-one helpline 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. (800) 950-NAMI (6264) or [email protected]

Navigating a Mental Health Crisis, a downloadable guide available in English and Spanish. The guide outlines what can contribute to a crisis, warning signs, de-escalation strategies, and more.

National School Safety Center, documents and information regarding schools and terrorism, schools and preparedness.

News items:

The Sandy Hook PromiseThe learning center

  • Start with Hello, K-12, free activities and curriculum to teach students to be more socially inclusive and connected to each other to end social isolation.
  • Say something, in grades 4 through 12, in four out of five school shootings, the perpetrator told people of his plans ahead of time. This program provides a social-emotional learning curriculum, instruction, and programming to develop essential SEL skills.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Disaster Hotline – call or text 1-800-985-5990 (for Spanish, press “2”) to be connected with a qualified advisor 24/7/365.

Youth Traumatic Loss Coalitions, funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, this organization provides coordinators who work in their counties to develop and/or lead response teams or support an existing one. Training is also offered, including suicide awareness training for educators and post-traumatic stress management for school crisis teams.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: A document that provides guidance on how to respond and help students deal with tragedy.

Video Series: NJSBA Education Matters: School Safety Conversations

School Safety Conversationscontains important information for all principals and district staff who play a role in school safety.

The school resource manager

The NJSBA’s School Safety Task Force has identified the School Resource Officer (SRO) as the “preferred” model for a law enforcement presence in schools. In this video, Gary Gubbie, Maple Shade Township Police Chief and President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, discusses the role of the SRO.

Police and schools: building a collaborative relationship

A strong relationship between the school district and local law enforcement is essential to keeping students safe. Denville Public Schools Superintendent Steve Forte and Denville Police Chief Chris Wagner discuss ways to build an effective relationship.

Security Staffing: Options for School Districts

Law enforcement presence in schools may include a School Resource Officer and Class II or Class III Law Enforcement Special Constables. Denville Public Schools Superintendent Steve Forte and Township Police Chief Chris Wagner discuss the different types of law enforcement officers who provide service in schools.

Administrators: watching schools with an eye on safety

Traditionally, school administrators look at school buildings with an eye on learning. But today they also focus on student safety and security. Keansburg Public Schools Superintendent John Niesz discusses the administrator’s perspective on safety.

The police as part of the school community

How are SROs or other school law enforcement agents part of the learning environment? Gary Gubbie, Maple Shade Police Chief and President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, explains the process.

What is a Class III Officer?

A 2016 law created the new category of Class III Law Enforcement Special Agent, giving school districts another option for security personnel. In this video, New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police President Gary Gubbie discusses the role and responsibilities of the Class III Officer.

Development of socio-emotional character

A safe and secure school requires professional staff development and staff focused on the socio-emotional needs of students. In this video, Kathleen Taylor, Superintendent of Ocean City Public Schools, discusses the importance of school climate.

Safety starts with the students

Oftentimes, conversations about safety focus on building layout, equipment, and enforcement. However, meeting a student’s emotional needs is also essential. Ocean City Public Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor continues the discussion on the importance of school climate.