School administrators must be vigilant in regards to keeping the school campus safe. One option is The Arizona Department of Education’s School Safety Program, a state-funded grant for the placement of School Resource Officers (SRO) and Juvenile Probation Officers (JPO) in schools in order to provide a safe environment for students, teachers, and administrators.
School Safety Overview
The School Safety Program provides detailed guidance for educators who participate. Because the program contains details that are not included here, the entire document should be reviewed and utilized by schools. In order for schools to receive grant funds, they are required to submit timely safety plans and follow all of the rules that govern the program. Applications are to be submitted every three years and are due by April 15th.
Participating schools must develop and submit a service agreement between the school and the police department or juvenile probation department. A School Safety Assessment and Prevention Team must be established by the school administrator. The team must meet at least quarterly. The team is required to:
- Assess the School’s Needs
- Determine Use of Officers
- Coordinate Prevention Programming
- Make Recommendations
The team must fulfill the requirements set forth in the guidelines. The school administrator must develop and implement an operational plan that incorporates all of the needs of the school. There are many details that need to be included in the plan. School administrators need to review the School Safety Program Guidance Manual, provided by the Arizona Department of Education.
Safety Program Implementation
There are two main goals of the program, which must be kept in mind throughout the development and implementation process. The first goal is to contribute to a safe atmosphere that is conducive to both learning and teaching. This includes helping students feel safe. The second goal is to provide information that teaches and promotes a safe environment and good citizenship. The program guidelines give specific details as to the roles of all individuals in the program, both on a district and school level, and as to the law enforcement professionals involved. This information is necessary for those involved in hiring professionals for the various roles. Training is to be provided for those taking on the positions. Because the safety program is rather complex, it is helpful to seek assistance from a qualified education attorney when developing and implementing the plan or seeking a grant under the School Safety Program.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Keeping the School Campus Safe, or other Education Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.