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School Policies and Legal Issues Supporting Safe Schools (Guide 2 from Safe and Secure: Guides to Creating Safer Schools)

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2002
50 pages
This is a practical guide to the development and implementation of school policies that support safe schools and thereby create safer schools.
To assist schools in their safety efforts, the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) developed a series of eight guidebooks intended to build a foundation of information that will assist schools and school districts in developing safe learning environments. Sound school policy development plays an essential role as a violence prevention and control tool. Clearly articulated rules and policies, established through community involvement and implemented fairly, will provide a solid foundation for a comprehensive approach to school safety. This second guide in the series is intended to serve as a practical guide to the development and implementation of school policies supporting safe schools. In addition, the guide may be helpful as a training resource. Section one provides an overview of guiding principles to keep in mind when developing policies at the district level to prevent violence. Section two addresses specific policy and legal components that relate to discipline and due process, threats of violence, suspension and expulsion, zero tolerance, and dress codes. School policymaking and attention to legal issues is critical to creating a school environment that is safe for students, teachers, and school officials. Schools should draw on significant resources offered by Federal, State, and local governments; private organizations; and research universities and colleges. A dedicated, proactive, and comprehensive effort to implement clear and consistent school policies related to school safety will reduce the risk of violence for the entire school community. Resources

Date Published: September 1, 2002