Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory has asked North Carolina education, law enforcement, mental health, government and business leaders to work together with the North Carolina Center for Safer Schools to focus the public’s attention on methods to ensure all state schools are safe as Safer Schools Week is observed this week, Oct. 19-25, 2014.
“The N.C. Center for Safer Schools has recently updated me on the progress it has made over the past year in partnership with state and local agencies, schools and communities to ensure our children are kept safe while they are learning,” Governor McCrory said. “As we observe Safer Schools Week, I encourage all North Carolinians to become active in your children’s lives and in their schools, and learn how you can help keep our schools safe and secure.”
Established by Governor McCrory in 2013, the N.C. Center for Safer Schools – based in the Department of Public Safety – is a customer-focused information center for research, training and technical assistance related to school safety, crisis prevention and response. Working with federal, state, local and community-based organizations over the past year, accomplishments of the Center and its partners include:
- Development and training of a new critical incident response video to help standardize and educate school faculty and staff on how best to respond in a lockdown and other school emergencies.
- Development by N.C. Emergency Management of a web-based portal to provide schools with a standardized method for identifying elements of their safe schools plan. Emergency Management is also developing a secure web-based portal to provide more rapid access to school-specific key elements needed by first responders in the event of a critical incident.
- Facilitation of training by the Department of Health and Human Services that provided many new trainers of Mental Health First Aid for Youth to help parents, teachers and those in the juvenile and adult justice system become more aware of the role mental health challenges play in the behavior pattern of youth in our schools.
- Development of online training for teachers and school support staff by the Department of Public Instruction to assist them in using school resource officers more effectively.
During Safer Schools Week, the Center’s executive director, Kym Martin, and School Safety Specialist Mike Anderson will participate in the 20th National Symposium on Juvenile Services in Greensboro, hosted by the Department of Public Safety. Martin and Anderson will be joined on Wednesday by William Lassiter, DPS deputy commissioner for Juvenile Justice, for a presentation on the prevention, intervention and crisis response techniques involved in creating safer schools.
Safer Schools Week also occurs in conjunction with Bullying Awareness and Prevention Month in North Carolina, proclaimed by the governor on October 1, 2014.
For additional information on the Center for Safer Schools, including its latest progress report, please visit www.centerforsaferschools.org.
Click here to download a copy of the proclamation.