Federal Commission on School Safety
Federal Commission on School Safety
This webpage is under review as of December 9, 2021. Some statements and resources on this webpage do not reflect the current positions or policies of the Departments of Education, Homeland Security, Justice or Health and Human Services.
"Every child deserves to grow up in a safe community surrounded by a loving family and to have a future filled with opportunity and with hope."
In March 2018, President Donald J. Trump appointed U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to lead the Federal Commission on School Safety. The Commission has been charged with quickly providing meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school. These recommendations will include a range of issues, like social emotional support, recommendation on effective school safety infrastructure, discussion on minimum age for firearms purchases, and the impact that videogames and the media have on violence.
There is not one plan that fits all schools across the country, so the Commission will be focusing on all variations of school size, structure, and geographic locations with their final recommendations. Input from Commission meetings, listening sessions and field visits will all be considered. Meetings and correspondence with students, parents, teachers, school safety personnel, administrators, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, school counselors, security professionals and other related stakeholders will be critical to the Commission's work as well.
If you have information to share you may email the Federal Commission School Safety team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the months following the President's establishment of the Federal Commission on School Safety, the Commission hosted formal commission meetings, field visits, and listening sessions. The formal meetings included Commission members Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions (and later former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker), Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, as well as subject matter experts. During field visits, members of the Commission travelled to schools throughout the country to observe and learn about best practices in school safety; and listening sessions provided an opportunity for the public to give input on ways to make schools safer.
Chair, Betsy DeVos
Secretary DeVos has been involved in education policy for nearly three decades as an advocate for children and a voice for parents. She is especially passionate about reforms that help underserved children gain access to a safe, quality education.
Matthew George Whitaker
Matthew Whitaker is the former Acting Attorney General of the United States. Before his appointment, he served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and as a managing partner at Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff, LLP in Des Moines, Iowa. He has also served as a Law and Politics Contributor on CNN and as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT) in Washington, D.C. a non-profit, non-partisan ethics organization dedicated to maintaining government trust and transparency. From 2004 to 2009, Whitaker served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa.
From 2001 to 2007, Azar served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – first as its General Counsel (2001–2005) and then as Deputy Secretary. During his time as Deputy Secretary, Azar was involved in improving the department's operations; advancing its emergency preparedness and response capabilities as well as its global health affairs activities; and helping oversee the rollout of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
Kirstjen M. Nielsen
- Federal Reports on Incidents
- "Final Report of the Federal Commission on School Safety" [PDF, 7.1MB]
- "Prior Knowledge of Potential School Based Violence" [PDF, 1.4MB]
- "Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative" [PDF, 569KB]
- "Report to the President: On issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy" [PDF, 445KB]
- "Now is the Time"- The White House, January 2013 [PDF, 197KB]
- State Reports on Incidents
Links to Information on Federal Sites
- Department of Education
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Justice
- Secret Service
- Call for Yearly Review of Emergency Operations Plans [PDF, 324KB]
- Trauma-Informed Care For Schools Before, During, and After Possible Emergency Events Webinar
- The Role of Districts in Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans [PDF, 5.8MB]
NOTE: These documents contain resources that are provided for the user's convenience. The inclusion of these materials is not intended to reflect its importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered. These materials may contain the views and recommendations of various subject matter experts as well as hypertext links, contact addresses and websites to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. The opinions expressed in any of these materials do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any outside information included in these materials.
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