New $2 million DOJ grant will create dashboard tracking school safety incidents
Image via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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The effort jibes with the incident-reporting goals in recent legislative update to the Marjory Stoneman High School Public Safety Act.

School-by-school data on safety incidents such as fights, stolen property or suspensions will be reported, for the first time, on a month-by-month basis through the state Department of Education (DOE) starting in 2023.

That’s the goal of a U.S. Department of Justice grant of nearly $2 million that’s creating a collaboration between a University of Florida education professor, the Department of Education and Safe Schools for Alex, a nonprofit inspired by Florida’s worst school shooting and dedicated to researching the best practices for increasing school safety.

Safe Schools for Alex currently has a dashboard where visitors can see the ranking of schools based on incidents reported in 2019-2020. But this new dashboard, set up through the state DOE, would have school-level data reported month to month, Max Schachter said. Schacter started Safe Schools for Alex in honor of his son, who was killed in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

“We hope this pilot program becomes a model for how data can be used to make schools safer across the United States,” Schachter said.

Better, easier access to school safety data was one of the goals stated in the update to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act the Legislature approved in the recent Legislative Session that ended this month.

Too often, school safety data is in formats that are hard for the public, parents and school personnel to access and use. That makes it harder to see trends over time and compare across schools, according to F. Chris Curran, a UF professor of educational leadership and policy.

“In prior work, we’ve found that around half of states do not have publicly available school-level data on student behavior or discipline,” said Curran, who directs the Education Policy Research Center at UF’s College of Education.

The school safety dashboard will make it so that schools can track and respond effectively to what’s going on, according to a news release from the University of Florida.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


2 comments

  • Only in

    March 25, 2022 at 10:40 am

    That’s so America lol

  • TampaTeacher

    April 2, 2022 at 10:58 am

    This will make it even worse for students not to have consequences for their behavior. Schools won’t report because they don’t want to be
    1. Classified as a dangerous school.
    2. Administrators won’t report because they don’t want to look like they don’t have good administrative skills.

    This puts every student and teacher in even more danger. I don’t know much about this bill, but I hope there is something in it to stipulate no adverse repercussions to administrators. Kids come to school with issues teachers have no control over. And teachers are the ones who get thrown under the bus. There are no consequences for students but teachers are accused of bad behavior management.

Comments are closed.


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