Working to Keep Schools and Communities Safe

Working to Keep Schools and Communities Safe

"This job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation."

— President Barack Obama, December 16, 2012

When schools are the centers of their communities, students, parents, and entire neighborhoods benefit. Ensuring that schools are sanctuaries for teaching and learning—and free of crime and violence—is a priority for President Obama, the administration, and the entire nation

The need

Violence and trauma in schools and communities can affect students' overall health and well-being as well as their educational outcomes. [expand/collapse]

Youth and Violence: Youths are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than other age groups; 49% of those aged 18-24 are victims of violent crime.

The goal

All children should grow up free from fear and violence. Fortunately, most of America's children do. But there are far too many schools and neighborhoods where fear and violence are part of a child's daily life. This is unacceptable, and the President's school safety-related proposals reflect a national goal of ensuring that all children live in safe neighborhoods and attend nurturing schools that provide them with the services and supports that they need to thrive.

The plan

The President has proposed a comprehensive plan, Now is the Time, to help protect schools and communities by reducing gun violence and providing resources to schools. [expand/collapse]

The President's Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal

The 2015 budget request will continue the important initiatives included in Now is the Time, the President's common-sense plan to make our schools safer and protect our children from gun violence. Key proposals include:

  • School Climate Transformation Grants ($50 million): These grants will help schools train their teachers and staff to implement evidence-based behavioral intervention strategies that improve school climate and reduce bullying.
  • Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students State and Local Grants ($45 million): These grants will help states, districts, and schools to meet the specific needs of their communities by supporting programs that improve school climate and student's mental and physical health.
  • Project Prevent Grants ($25 million): These grants will enable school districts with high levels of violence to provide supports and services to address trauma or anxiety while promoting conflict resolution and other school-based strategies to prevent future violence.
  • Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence) ($5 million): These grants help restore the learning environment after a natural disaster or violent incident at or near a school, college, or university.


The U.S. Department of Education is continuing its work with the U.S. Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Homeland Security to help ensure that schools remain among the safest places in our communities and to provide students the supports they need to succeed. [expand/collapse]

Learn more

  • Visit the White House website for additional details about the President's plan to protect children and communities by reducing gun violence, creating safe and positive conditions for learning, and developing and implementing comprehensive emergency management plans.
  • Visit here for the school discipline guidance package that the Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Justice, released to assist states, districts, and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law.