To enhance school safety, the Department of Homeland Security offers funding, training, and resources for efforts such as providing money for emergency preparedness, training school bus drivers in security and hardening school buildings’ vulnerability.
- Search for school security grants at www.grants.gov.
- FEMA's Homeland Security Grant Program can be used for planning, purchasing equipment, training, and other efforts to support school security.
Planning and Training
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance includes funding, training and exercises, equipment testing, and Citizen Corps. FEMA's Emergency Management Institute offers free online courses to train school officials to prepare for and manage emergencies:
- National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT) courses help U.S. citizens prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from acts of domestic and international terrorism, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and high-consequence events through teaching, training, technical assistance, and research.
- Protecting Our School's Infrastructure is featured in the Department's National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP), which has Characteristics and Common Vulnerabilities, Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activity, and Protective Measures reports for public and private schools (K-12) and higher education institutions. These resources are available to local law enforcement and school officials to help identify site-specific vulnerabilities, anomalies, or incidents that may precede a terrorist attack or other kind of harmful incident, and certain measures that can be taken to better protect and create a safer environment.
- The Safe School Initiative (SSI), established by the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Education, focuses on prevention and behavior of students who commit acts of targeted violence in our nation's schools.
- School Transportation Security Awareness, designed by TSA for school bus drivers, administrators, and staff members, focuses on terrorist and criminal threats to buses.
- Understanding and Preparing for School Bomb Incidents, available online from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, provides awareness-level training to firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, and school employees.
- Building a Disaster-Resistant University is FEMA's guide to making colleges more resistant to disasters.
- Citizen Corps is the nationwide grassroots effort to provide all Americans with the knowledge, skills, and capability to take responsibility for their own safety and for that of their families and neighbors.
- Emergency Planning page for School Leaders, published by the U.S. Department of Education, provides information that can help school leaders plan for any emergency, including natural disasters, violent incidents, and terrorist acts.
- Lessons Learned (PDF, 148 pages - 6.73 MB) from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) helps enhance campus public safety agencies' capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from catastrophic events.
- Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, published by the U.S. Department of Education, lists a number of reports, white papers, and programs.
- Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities, published by the U.S. Department of Education, provides general guidance to be adapted as appropriate to each district's or school's circumstances.
- Preparing Your School for a Crisis, published by the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to assist schools and communities with either creating a new or updating an existing crisis plan.
- Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center supports schools and school districts in crisis management, including how to develop and implement comprehensive emergency and crisis response plans. Resources include guidance documents, Web-based training sessions, updated information on the Department of Education's REMS discretionary grant program, and newsletters addressing key issues.
- Ready.gov for Kids is the Department of Homeland Security's national public awareness campaign.
- Resources for Keeping Schools Safe and Drug-Free lists clearinghouses, online workshops, publications, conference materials, and more from the U.S. Department of Education.
- Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates (PDF, 99 pages - 755 KB), includes suggestions for developing a threat assessment team within a school or school district, planning steps to take when a threat or other information of concern comes to light, considering when to involve law enforcement personnel, resolving issues of information sharing, and sharing ideas for creating safe school climates.