California law (Education Code 35294.6) requires each school to maintain a comprehensive school safety plan relevant to the needs and resources of the school site. Districts with 2,500 or fewer students have the option of developing a districtwide safety plan applicable to each school site. However, all districts may wish to consider developing both districtwide and school site safety plans. A comprehensive safety plan ensures a coordinated approach to school safety rather than a variety of piecemeal programs.
Education Code 32282 requires that the districtwide or school safety plan include an assessment of the current status of school crime. It must also contain appropriate strategies and programs that will provide or maintain a high level of school safety and address the school’s procedures for complying with existing laws related to school safety. These include:
- Child abuse reporting procedures
- Routine and emergency disaster procedures
- Policies for suspension and expulsion
- Procedures to notify teachers of dangerous students
- A discrimination and harassment policy prohibiting discrimination in accordance with Education Code 200 et seq.
- Any dress code prohibiting students from wearing gang-related apparel
- Safety procedures to and from school
- School discipline rules
- Hate crime reporting procedures
- Procedures providing for a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning at the school
A balanced, effective safety plan may also include strategies related to the development of a positive school climate, preventative discipline, curriculum that emphasizes prevention and alternatives to negative behaviors, parent involvement, prevention and intervention related to the sale or use of drugs and alcohol, collaboration with other agencies and community organizations, assessment of the school’s physical environment, crisis intervention, and staff training in prevention and intervention of bullying harassment and violence.