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Everyday parents send their children off to school with the expectation that they will return home again safely. Recent events at educational institutions all over the country, such as Virginia Tech and Columbine High School, have made it imperative that the government, schools, parents, and students take action. That is why the State of Missouri welcomes you to the Missouri Safe Schools Initiative. This web portal will provide you with information about school emergency preparedness and management, government programs, and links you to vital resources. It is a high priority of the State that students can safely gain a high quality education without fear of being harmed by both natural and human caused disasters. We understand that without everyone being engaged in this initiative schools will remain at risk. Through the Office of Homeland Security, the State of Missouri is promoting safety in our school system so that our future is protected.
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School Safety Issues
 

The following list is information, documents, and links to very informative guides pertaining to key individual subjects and issues for school safety. This resource is meant for law enforcement, teachers, school administration, parents, and kids.

  School Violence

Bullying

Bullying is an immense problem in schools throughout the globe. Yet, with a system of support and adult intervention bullying can be stopped. Bullying is when a person takes unfair advantage of another individual. There is usually an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim where the bully uses physical, social, or emotional power to abuse the victim. Most incidents of bullying are reoccurring behavioral patterns. Everybody has an opportunity and responsibility to address bullying. Below are links to documents that discuss what bullying is, who is the bully and the victim, and how to erratic it from the educational system.

Links:

So What is Bullying?

Bullying in Schools: Fighting the Bully Battle (Bully Fact Sheet Series, National School Safety Center)(.pdf)

Bullying in Schools: Fighting the Bully Battle (Discussion Activities for School Communities, National School Safety Center)(.pdf)

Bully in Schools: Talking with Hilda About Bullying(.pdf)

Federal Bureau of Investigation Bullying Guide(.pdf)

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Cyber Bullying

With the growth of technology, children and teens have more readily available access to the internet. On the internet children and teens use tools such as instant messaging, e-mail, blogs, and other networking sites to communicate with each other. Out of the internet revolution has came cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is an emotional and social form of bullying that hurts individuals and can even lead to suicide. According to an ISAFE survey of 1500 middle school students 42% were bullied, 58% has had hurtful or angry things said to them, and 53% admitted to saying hurtful or angry things to someone online.

Links and documents:

iSafe - Internet Safety Education

Delete Cyber Bullying

The Silent Tormentor(.pdf)

Cyber Bullying For Kids!

McGruffs.org - Cyber Bullying Education for Kids!

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Gangs

For many years the word "gang" has stricken fear into the parents of teens and other children. According to the "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007" published by the National Center for Educational Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2005, 24% of students 6th through 12 grades nationwide reported a gang presence at their school. "Gangs are organized groups often involved in drugs, weapons trafficking, and violence (Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007, 28)." It should be note that simply being involved in a gang is not illegal unless the gang participates in criminal activities such as theft, assault, or even murder.

Links and Documents:

Milstein Child Safety Center

2005 National Gang Threat Assessment(.pdf)

A Comprehensive Response to America's Youth Gang Problem(.pdf)

Gang Suppression and Intervention Problem and Response(.pdf)

Wipe Out Vandalism and Graffiti(.pdf)

Modern Day Youth Gangs(.pdf)

Preventing Adolescent Gang Involvement(.pdf)

Federal Bureau of Investigation Violent Gangs Information

Federal Bureau of Investigation Gang Toolkit

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Internet Safety

The Internet has grown to be one of the greatest tools available. Its vast databases of knowledge make it an ease for exchanging vital information. However, the ease of access to the Internet has provided criminals with a new venue for criminal activities such as internet predators and identity theft.

IKeepSafe Internet Safety Coalition - includes games and information for children and parents about internet safety.

NetzSmartz Workshop -Provided by the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children.

Federal Bureau of Investigation K-5th Grade Internet Safety Tips

Federal Bureau of Investigation - A Parents Guide To Internet Safety

The Polly Klass Foundation

The Polly Klass Foundation Free Tool Kit(.pdf)

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Suicide

Suicide is a growing trend among students nationwide. In Missouri 14.8 percent of 9th through 12th grade students have seriously considered suicide; while 8 percent actually attempted to kill themselves (Center For Disease Control and Prevention).

Links and Documents:

Center For Disease Control and Prevention - Suicide Prevention Guide

Preventing Suicide Network

American Academy of Pediatrics - Preventing Teen Suicide

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program

KidsHealth for parents

Teen Suicide

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The Choking Game

The Choking Game is an act of intentional suffocating to achieve a high without the use of drugs or alcohol. Each year thousands of kids suffer serious brain damage or even death after participating in this activity. The Choking Game can be played by one or two persons. When a single individual attempts the chocking game he or she may attempt to use a pillow to suffocate and hands or a rope to choke themselves until they pass out. When two individuals attempt the choking game one person chokes the other until they pass out. Unfortunately, many times this activity ends with severe health problems and even death. Take steps today to stop your children from taking part in this deadly game.

GASP - Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play

Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Risky Youth Behavior

The DB Foundation - Dangerous Adolescent Behavior Education

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Drug Abuse

Drugs are readily available to students throughout our primary, secondary, and higher educational institutions. Drugs have become widely used by students and many times lead to other criminal actions.

Links and Documents:

ACTmissouri - Taking action for healthy, drug free communities.

Partnership For A Drug-Free America

Missouri Youth Adult Alliance

Missouri Recovery Network

Missouri Methamphetamine Awareness Project

Drug Enforcement Agency Missouri Fact Sheet

Missouri Access To Recovery

Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)(.pdf)

Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools

Drug Prevention Lesson Plans For Educators

Arizona Attorney General Website For Teens

Instructor Lesson Plans

Foundation For A Drug Free World

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School Violence

Most schools offer a safe environment for students to excel in their studies. However, understanding the warning signs and contributing factors that lead to violence may help to end the violence that does occur. The following guides will help you understand the causes of violence.

Stop Violence Early Warning Guide

Missouri School Violence Hotline

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Page Updated: May 5, 2009