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Giving Compass' Take:
• Linda Jacobson, writing for Education Dive, discusses the progress of the Federal Commission on School Safety and what the potential outcomes of its report will look like at the end of this year.
• The author reports that members of the cabinet of the federal commission do not attend the public listening sessions where they could hear from local community members. How will this affect the report?
The Federal Commission on School Safety, which President Donald Trump formed in response to the February mass shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, is expected to make final recommendations before the end of the year.
But most states and districts have moved ahead with their own safety measures, such as adding more school resource officers, upgrading equipment such as security cameras, and creating data-sharing agreements among state agencies.
Some safety experts, however, question whether this commission will have any more influence than similar groups in the past.
The commission, he said, might identify some best practices, but it’s been clear from the discussions at the commission’s public meetings that what works for some schools doesn’t work for others.
There are a few actions, however, that can apply to all schools, said Quiambao, who has expertise in homeland security at both the state and federal levels.
One is the need for school leaders to have a security expert conduct a “vulnerability assessment” or to be trained to conduct one on their own. The second, he said, is the growing acceptance of having emergency kits in classrooms that allow school staff members to treat “battlefield wounds” and act as first responders until law enforcement or emergency services can arrive and enter the building.
Since March, the federal commission has held a series of site visits, public listening sessions and other meetings in which they’ve heard from researchers, advocates, parents, students and officials from government, schools and law enforcement.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos chaired the commission, along with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, before he was fired. The cabinet members, however, did not attend all of the public sessions. And Nielsen may be replaced before the commission completes its work.
Read the full article about the federal commission on school safety by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive