How to improve school safety | #schoolsaftey

As of April 22, there have been at least 101 shootings on school grounds this year, according to the “K-12 School Shooting Database.” Last year’s record tally of 348 served as an eye-opener for many district leaders as they continue to address behavioral and mental health-related issues in their schools.

“We don’t want to blame everything on COVID, but COVID did have a notable, marketable impact on school safety,” says Ken Trump, president of the National School Safety and Security Services on District Administration’s latest episode of the “Talking Out of School” podcast. “We saw an uptick—as expected—in aggressive, violent behavior, verbal aggression, physical aggression, altercation and conflicts.”

More from DA: ‘Talking Out of School’ podcast: Can we conquer chronic absenteeism?

In conversations with Trump in recent years, school leaders have identified student anxiety as the top safety-related concern overshadowing other issues like shootings and physical altercations. He believes it was an issue before COVID, but the pandemic exacerbated the problem.

He also notes an uptick in “targeted” attempts of mass violence. Oftentimes, they’re gang-related conflicts resulting in a drive-by of a school and other events.

“It really points to the importance of staff being trained in de-escalation to intervene in neighborhood gang group conflicts,” he says. “It’s certainly some challenging times.”

You can learn more about what school safety issues are top-of-mind for Trump going into the 2024-25 school year by listening to this episode on Podbean, Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or by listening down below.

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