In February 2017, in response to the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla., President Donald Trump formed the Federal Commission on School Safety (FCSS) to study a range of 27 issues, including social-emotional support, school safety infrastructure, crisis planning and the prevalence of violence in the media and video games.
The commission released a 177-page report on Dec. 18, 2018, recommending federal, state and local strategies to prevent, mitigate and respond to school violence. A full copy of the report is available here: Federal Commission on School Safety Report.
The FCSS is modeled after the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education Joint Safe School Initiative, formed after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
The FCSS held four official field visits, four public listening sessions, and four general commission meetings (12 sessions). Information on each event, including links to livestreams and transcript documents, are provided below in chronological order.
March 28, 2018: Organizational Commission Meeting, Washington, D.C.
FCSS members organize and highlight the importance of state and local partnerships.
May 17, 2018: Meeting with Experts and Survivors of Mass Shootings, Washington, D.C.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos met with survivors and family members affected by the Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings. Two discussion panels covered past mass school shooting incidents and testimonies from those affected by school shootings. NCSL’s Senior Federal Affairs Counsel Joan Wodiska, was present at the meeting.
May 31, 2018: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Field Visit, Hanover, Md.
FCSS held the first field visit at Hebron-Harman Elementary School in Hanover, Md. The session consisted of three panels: a district overview of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and restorative practices; a principal/administrator panel; and an educator panel.
June 6, 2018: First Public Listening Session, Washington, D.C.
The first FCSS public listening session is held at the U.S. Department of Education Headquarters, which focused on public input on how schools, districts, higher education institutions, and state and local agencies may improve school safety.
June 21, 2018: The Ecology of Schools: Fostering a Culture of Human Flourishing and Developing Character Commission Meeting, Washington, D.C.
The FCSS heard testimony on cyberbullying and social media; youth consumption of violent entertainment; and effects of press coverage on mass shootings.
June 26, 2018: Second Public Listening Session, Lexington, Ky.
The second FCSS listening session includes two roundtable discussions and culminates with a public input session. State and local officials are in attendance, including state legislators.
- A livestream of the public listening session is available.
July 11, 2018: Curating a Healthier & Safer Approach: Issues of Mental Health and Counseling for our Young Commission Meeting, Washington, D.C.
The FCSS discussed mental and behavioral health, as well as the subsequent hindrances of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
July 2018: The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center, Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center releases: “Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence”.
July 24, 2018: Transforming School Climate and Culture to Meet the Behavioral Needs of Students Field Visit, Adams County, Wis.
The FCSS hosted its second field visit at Adams-Friendship Middle School in Adams County, Wis. The FCSS toured the school to learn about the mental health framework designed to assist students in their behavioral needs. Panel discussions include trauma-sensitive schools, and resources for students and educators related to behavioral health; and an integrated behavioral health school-based model.
July 26, 2018: “Proactively Protecting Our Schools” Commission Meeting, Washington, D.C.
The FCSS held its fourth commission meeting, focusing on proactive school protection. Employing the expertise of school and public safety officials, the meeting included three panel discussions: Improving School Safety through Information Sharing and Accountability; the Value of School Resource Officers and Best Practices in School Safety.
Aug. 1, 2018: “Proactively Protecting Our Schools” Field Visit, Pearcy, Ark.
The FCSS held its third field visit at the Lake-Hamilton School District office in Pearcy, Ark. to discuss rural school districts’ geographic and logistical hindrances and strategies to overcome those challenges.
Aug. 7, 2018: Third Public Listening Session, Cheyenne Wyo.
The FCSS held its third listening session in Cheyenne, Wyo., which provided the public with opportunities to discuss state and local strategies to improve school safety.
- Livestream of the listening session.
- Transcript of the listening session, which included two roundtable discussions
Aug. 16, 2018: “Creating a Citadel of Learning: New Tools to Secure our Schools, Inside and Out” Commission Meeting, Washington, D.C.
The FCSS’ fifth meeting includes three panel discussions: Best Practices for School Building Security; Active Shooter Training for Schools; and Practitioner Experience with School-Based Threat Assessments.
Aug. 23, 2018: “Best Practices for School Building Safety” Field Visit, Las Vegas, Nev.
The FCSS convened its fourth field visit at the Miley Achievement Center in Las Vegas, to learn about strategies and tools to enhance security. Following a tour of the center, the field visit concluded with three panel discussions, which included an overview, as well as focused dialogue on local law enforcement and best practices for building security.
Aug. 28, 2018: Fourth and Final Public Listening Session, Montgomery, Ala.
The FCSS held the fourth and final listening session in Montgomery, Ala. Deputy Secretary Mitchell Zais indicated that the commission would “not be issuing directives or unfunded mandates” to schools.
Dec. 18, 2018: Commission Releases Final Report