Reassessing School Safety in Light of the Tragedy in Ohio

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Zerline Hughes – 202.558.7974 x308 /
Jason Fenster – 202.656.5336 / 

Reassessing School Safety in Light of Yesterday’s Tragedy in Ohio
Avoiding ineffective policies in the aftermath 

As policymakers and the general public grapple with responding to and making sense of Monday’s tragic shooting in Ohio, the Justice Policy Institute, which has studied school violence prevention for more than a decade, emphasized that communities should increase the use of practices proven to keep schools safe, and avoid ineffective policies that would lead to worse outcomes for youth and communities.

“Yesterday was a tragic day in Ohio, and for all of us who want safe schools, and safe communities for our young people,” stated Tracy Velázquez, Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute. “As we all try to understand how and why an event like this happened, we need to soberly reflect on what really works to reduce school-violence and help at-risk kids before something goes wrong, and resist the temptation to seek solutions that sound tough, but are ineffective.”

Based on recent research conducted by JPI and leading educational researchers, practices proven to improve school safety include the following:

Today we know more about policies and practices that can keep our kids and communities safe and improve our education and justice system for all students. And with reported crime in schools at the lowest levels they have been since counting began in 1992, Velázquez added, “we must respond to yesterday’s tragedy in ways that are shown to both keep our kids safe and provide them with the best possible life outcomes.”

For our recent research on effective ways to improve school safety, see our report, Education Under Arrest.  For more information, please contact us at 202-558-7974.