Comprehensive School Safety


Comprehensive School Safety

Comprehensive School Safety is an emerging guiding principle of a national effort to protect schoolchildren against all threats.     The common concerns are:

The effort is broad-based in government, school administrations, and non-governmental organizations.  There is no centralized control or guidance.   The most general motivation appears to be the concept that measures and practices relevant to one of these concerns may benefit from coordination with those for one or more of the others. 

As might be expected, the actual emphasis at any place or time varies with the most recent publicized incident, the funding available, and other factors.


Comprehensive School Safety in California

The picture in California parallels that of the nation as a whole.  There is no centralized control of Comprehensive School Safety.  

The most visible driving force is the California legislative process: In January, 1997 California State Senator Theresa Hughes (D-25th District) introduced Senate Bill 187, This bill is the most frequently cited legislative measure supporting Comprehensive School Safety.   This bill,  approved by the Governor 10/6/97, made changes to the state Education Code

When the bill was introduced, the Legislative Counsel's analysis pointed out that

...Existing law declares the intent of the Legislature that all California public schools operated by school districts develop a comprehensive school safety plan, as specified. The school safety plan may include, among other things, development of an action plan, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, for implementing appropriate safety strategies and programs and determining the fiscal impact of executing the strategies and programs...

Thus the concept of Comprehensive School Safety existed before 1997, but the details are not immediately available. (Availability of California legislative history on the World Wide Web begins with the 1993-1994 session.  Please contact the Webmaster if you have access to the historical record before that.)

The following table summarizes the impact of SB187 as enacted:

School Safety Requirement School Site Role Districts/COE Role *
Assess current status of school crime Review current CSSA reports or law enforcement statistics Provide crime data to schools
Establish Child Abuse Reporting procedures Procedures for notifying appropriate authorities Proved district-level policies/procedures to schools.
Establish disaster preparedness and response procedures Incorporate district disaster planning Provide SEMS-consistent district disaster plan to schools
Set policies for serious acts that may result in suspension or explusion Include district policy on student discipline Develop and provide policies to schools.
Establish a sexual harrassment policy Incorporate district policy Develop and provide policies to schools.
School-wide dress code Incorporate district policy Develop and provide policies to schools.
Safe and orderly school environment Develop a School Safety Plan Provide statistics, information on legal requirements, and policies.
Rules and procedures for school governance and discipline Update school rules and include these in safety plan Review rules for compliance
Hold a public meeting Announce and conduct meetings at school site prior to submitting plan to district Develop a district calendar of dates and times for school site public meetings

* COE:  County Office of Education


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There should be no doubt that

in loco parentis



After all that, I don't understand: W hat is Comprehensive School Safety?

Comprehensive School Safety


School Safety





11/08/2004 8:20