Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2011 Vol. 58 No. 7

SUPPORTING CAMPUS SECURITY: THE TEXAS SCHOOL SAFETY CENTER (TXSSC)

Texas School Safety Center
The mission of the Texas School Safety Center is to serve schools and communities to create safe, secure and healthy environments.

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) is a central location for safety and security information for all Texas independent school districts and junior college districts. It was first developed at Texas State University-San Marcos in 1999 as a grant project within the Department of Education. The TxSSC was established by the Texas Legislature in 2001 as a statewide clearinghouse and resource for training and technical assistance in all areas of school safety and security. Through education, training, problem solving and partnerships, the Texas School Safety Center envisions a world where all schools and communities are safe, secure, prepared and healthy.

 

What services does the Texas School Safety Center provide?
The TxSSC offers research, training and technical assistance related to campus safety, security and emergency preparedness to Texas public schools and junior college districts. It also offers product development and other special services.

What technical assistance does the TxSSC deliver?
The Texas School Safety Center delivers technical assistance to schools and colleges as they conduct internal safety and security audits. Working in partnership with schools across Texas, TxSSC develops tools, resources and templates to address campus safety and security at all levels including: emergency preparedness, environmental design, police/security operations, IT security, environmental health and safety and academic/business continuity.

What specialized training is provided through the TxSSC?
The Texas School Safety Center provides an array of specialized training to school administrators, faculty, staff, students and partner communities related to safety, security and preparedness. This includes multi-hazard planning, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities that are unique to educational settings. School-based law enforcement and security operations are included. The TxSSC also offers training to deal with such issues as gangs, drugs, alcohol, dating violence, bullying/cyber-bullying and internet safety. The center hosts several conferences each year for school safety professionals, and provides training to promote a total community approach to campus safety. More information can be found at www.txssc.txstate.edu/.

What student services are offered by the TxSSC?
The center strongly supports development of future leaders who will be actively engaged in their own safety and preparedness. In collaboration with FEMA Region VI, The Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Association of Regional Councils, Texas Citizen’s Corp, Texas Education Agency, Extreme Youth Leadership, and other partners, it offers a variety of youth emergency preparedness activities. This includes the Summer 2011 youth preparedness pilot project at the Extreme Youth Leadership Camp in Kerrville, Texas. 

How can the emergency management community support school safety and security activities?
The center encourages emergency managers to contact the administrators of their local school and junior college districts and offer to plan, train and drill collaboratively. It’s important for schools to collaborate with local first responders and emergency managers, in order to be more effective in developing multi-hazard plans and emergency preparedness training. It’s also important to work together on drills and exercises. We hope you will consider making your next drill or exercise a school-based scenario.

What research is offered through the TxSSC?
The Texas School Safety Center seeks to determine today’s challenges to school safety and to identify effective solutions to address these challenges. We actively search for contemporary safety and security-related practices that have proven successful. We then facilitate the sharing of these solutions across Texas educational communities.


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