School Safety: Overview and Legislative Tracking

Michelle Exstrom 5/8/2019

Few tragedies produce the level of public outcry that occurs after a school shooting. Against the backdrop of the killing of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., school safety captivated the national audience once again in 2018. With instances of school violence on the rise, policymakers continue to grapple with ways to address what has become an all-too-common reality.

School safety is a truly multi-faceted issue and state lawmakers must consider how to prevent, mitigate and respond to acts of school violence.

Several states have considered legislation regarding who can and cannot carry firearms on school grounds, including, in some states, school employees. Others have considered legislation related school safety officers, requiring or providing funding for emergency drills and school safety plans, funding for structural or technology-related safety measures, and expanding mental health services in schools. For an overview of state and federal action on school safety in 2018, consult this legisbrief.

Click on the graphic to see a full, interactive graphic on school safety legislation.

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