Safe and Sound Schools, a national school safety non-profit, released its State of School Safety Report 2019, in collaboration with Boston University College of Communication.

The report includes results from a national survey, as well as contributed analysis and interpretation from national experts across six key areas: mental and behavioral health; health and wellness; physical environment; school law, policy, and finance; culture, climate, and community; and operations and emergency management.

“Our mission is to protect every school and every student, every day,” said Michele Gay, co-founder and executive director of Safe and Sound Schools. “The State of School Safety Report furthers that mission each year. With the support of faculty and students at Boston University College of Communication, we were able to conduct nationally-fielded surveys and gain a deeper understanding of the current views on school safety from all parties involved. We hope that the 2019 Report will provide more insight into the progress our school communities have made, but more importantly, patterns that point to where we are falling short on a national level.”

Safe and Sound Schools surveyed perceptions of school safety among five groups: students in middle and high school, parents, educators, public safety officials, and community members. This report’s findings identify several school safety issues that need to be addressed.

This year, the top-three safety concerns indicated for each stakeholder group were as followed:   

  1. "Active shooter" still remains as the top concern for students and parents, but for educators, public safety officials, and general community members, “mental health emergencies” rose to the top of the list.
  2. Secondary concerns were “bullying” and “an intruder” for educators and parents; students chose “mental health emergencies;” and “active shooter” for public safety officials and community members.
  3. The third-most concerning threat for public safety officials and students surveyed was “an intruder;” “mental health emergency” for parents; “active shooter” for educators; and “drug/ alcohol abuse” for community members

In addition to survey data and further exploration of school safety issues, the State of School Safety Report 2019 provides strategic recommendations and steps schools can take to close the gap between stakeholder perceptions to improve school safety.