National Institute of Justice Examines Need for Racial and Ethnic Equity in School Safety Approaches
The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice today published an overview of the literature on school safety in the United States, with a focus on equity. The report comes as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the national outcry to address systemic racism have highlighted the continuing inequities that make schools unsafe for marginalized students. The report defines a comprehensive school safety approach as a balance of three key elements: physical safety, school climate and student behavior, with an emphasis on equity and the inclusion of knowledge gained from projects funded by the NIJ Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.
“In schools, equity concerns arise in a number of areas, including disciplinary responses and how students are protected from school violence,” said NIJ Director Nancy La Vigne. “Understanding what is known about racial and ethnic equity issues in schools and how to effectively incorporate racial and ethnic equity approaches is critical for developing a comprehensive school safety strategy.”
The report defines equity in school safety as a system that not only considers but respects students’ varied individual identities and that enables them to feel safe at school and receive a fair education. The discussion focuses on the need for equity specifically relating to racial and ethnic identities. The authors offer several recommendations for how we can create school environments that are save, inclusive, and equitable.
Title: Synthesizing Knowledge on Equity and Equity-Based School Safety Strategies
Author: National Institute of Justice
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About the Office of Justice Programs
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law.
More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.