The Center for Safer Schools is housed in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Division of Safe and Healthy Schools Support. DPI, with its expertise in the fields of student support services, facilitating safe environments for learning, and continuing education training for teachers, is uniquely situated to ensure that communities in North Carolina receive the information and technical assistance they need to become better prepared to prevent and respond to all forms of school safety threats. The Center for Safer Schools provides a one-stop shop of school safety information and customer services to schools, law enforcement, youth-serving agencies, juvenile justice officials, community leaders, policymakers, parents and students.
- Center staff will be available to help schools assess site safety issues; to work on-site with communities and schools who are experiencing unacceptable levels of school and youth violence; and to provide community or school presentations on topics such as emerging trends in school violence, safe school and site assessment, gang prevention and risk identification.
- DPI will explore creating a set of basic certification standards and updated training for school resource officers, to include forums facilitated with SROs, juvenile court counselors and school administrators.
- Center staff will partner with Law Enforcement and Emergency Management staff to assist school staff and local responders in enhancing critical incident and multi-hazard response strategies and techniques.
The Center for Safer Schools will call on experts from a wide array of fields, and from inside and outside of DPI, including:
- experts in violence prevention, from the fields of juvenile justice, mental health and public health;
- experts in mitigation, from the security, emergency management and school planning fields;
- experts in crisis response from the fields of law enforcement, public health and emergency management; and
- mental health experts to deal with crisis recovery.
Task Force on Safer Schools
The Center for Safer Schools works closely with its advisory board, the Task Force on Safer Schools. The powers and duties of the task force include assisting the Center for Safer Schools in collecting and disseminating information on recommended best practices and community needs related to creating safer schools in North Carolina. Also, the task force encourages interagency collaboration among State and local government agencies to achieve effective policies and streamline efforts to create safer schools.