school safety

Maurice McDavid

This week, we have our first ever returning guest on Teachers’ Lounge: Maurice McDavid. He’s been a teacher and administrator in his hometown of DeKalb for about a decade, but, starting next year, he’s going to be an elementary school principal in West Chicago.

Maurice is a black educator. He talked to host Peter Medlin about what he’s been thinking about during this national movement confronting police brutality and systemic racism in America. And Maurice gave his perspective on the racial inequities rooted in the education system.

Spencer Tritt

Does having more officers in a school automatically mean more safety? More and more school districts are questioning that premise after protests sparked from the killing of George Floyd.

Spencer Tritt

In response to mass shootings, schools across the country are spending millions on school safety projects.

School districts across Illinois will be able to submit grant requests through the Illinois State Board of Education. The law takes effect in January.

Last month, Northern Illinois University police investigated a potential threat circulating on social media.

The university sent a late-night “community awareness message” telling students and staff the threat wasn’t credible. But many NIU students had already seen the rumors online and were not satisfied with the university’s short response.

That morning, November 18, Kaitlyn Frisby woke up to Facebook and Twitter reactions about the situation from her classmates -- questions like: How long did they talk to the person? Are they in police custody?

Photo by Peter Medlin

In light of the conversations around safety, schools have recently changed many protocols and programs. They've replaced and upgraded equipment and hired armed resource officers.

But safety is not only about the physical vulnerability of the building. It's increasingly about mental health and helping students forge positive relationships with adults in their schools and communities.

"IMG_1398" by Flickr User WalrusWaltz / (CC BY 2.0)

Officials studying safety in Illinois schools say local authorities should adopt sound existing guidelines for securing the schoolhouse.

They should also build trust in students to come forward with their suspicions, and consult regularly with local police.

The School Security and Standards Task Force issued an interim report to the General Assembly. Members say it’s meant to offer schools a range of the best options for keeping their students safe in the classroom.

The task force put the report together after the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut.