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Safety in schools

Cleveland Pre-K students got to learn all about fire safety - they even got their own helmet and got to explore the fire truck!

Cleveland ISD Pre-K students got their own helmet and got to explore the fire truck!

Our public schools provide safety and security for all students, staff, and families. When the question arises, “Are students safe in schools?” answers are revealed through the precautions, protocols, and training school districts receive and implement. School districts strive to offer first-rate security, safety programs, and peace of mind to all.  Schools implement policies to address safety and security issues including school building safety, inclement weather safety, violent threat plans, active shooters drills, and pandemic precautions. It’s important that the community is involved in understanding the needs of their neighborhood schools. Efforts like Safe Schools Week creates awareness of preventing school violence and making schools more safe and secure.

Members of SAISD Police Department visited several campuses to greet students and bring them some pre-Thanksgiving cheer.

Members of SAISD Police Department visited several campuses to bring some pre-Thanksgiving cheer.

Security and safety measures for schools

Safety regulations and protocols in our public schools cover several areas of safety-related issues.

Safety in School includes

  • Pandemic and Disease
  • School Bus Safety
  • Student Activity Safety
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Building Safety
  • Cybersecurity Awareness
  • Mental Safety
  • Bullying and Violence Prevention

School Bus Safety

Texas public school students rely on bus services to get them safely to and from school daily.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are 70 times more likely to arrive safely at school via bus rather than by car. One reason is that school buses are the most regulated transportation vehicles.  School buses are designed with safety in mind.  They are highly-visible with bright yellow paint, stop sign arms, and flashing red lights.  The busses are built using protective seating that absorbs impact while also providing rollover protection.  Laws help protect students making passing school buses illegal during drop off and pick up. 

The Texas Department of Public Safety’s School Bus Transportation Program curates the knowledge and skills required to provide safe, reliable, and efficient student transportation. This program includes the School Bus Driver Certification & Recertification Course to maintain bus drivers’ ongoing education, as well as technical assistance to the educational regional service centers.

Read more about school bus safety in the Texas Administrative Code.

Athletics and Events Safety

Texas public schools regularly educate students and staff on safety during regular athletic practices and special events.  The University Interscholastic League (UIL) is committed to the safety of student-athletes, providing resources that cover illness, medical procedures, injuries, training, and the use of automated external defibrillators and bleeding control stations. School districts also follow their Emergency Action Planning Guide for afterschool practices and events.

Emergency Preparedness

Public school districts take preventive actions to provide a safety for students. Texas Education Code (TEC §37.108) requires each Texas school district to have an Emergency Operations Plan that includes prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.  The Texas Legislature mandates that public school districts conduct regular campus safety and security audits, and they must appoint a school safety committee that evaluates the district’s emergency plan. 

TEA’s weather and disaster information page details resources for students affected by health and disaster emergencies.

Building Safety and Cybersecurity

The safety of Texas public school buildings and the security of premises is a high priority in all school districts.  School buildings regularly restrict access during school hours by locking and monitoring entry doors and individual classrooms.  Visitors are required to show a valid ID, and they are documented as they enter and exit the premises.

Mental Safety

The TEA Mental and Behavioral Health page states that “outside of the student’s home, schools are the most likely place where mental health concerns will be detected, and the earlier mental health concerns are detected and addressed, the more likely a student is to avoid the onset and/or progression of mental illness.”

Texas public school districts provide valuable free services to assess, promote, and improve students’ social, emotional, and mental health. These crucial services include individual and group assessments, referrals, and interventions. Certified Texas public school counselors contribute to the mental well-being of students and the whole school environment. 

Bullying and Violence Prevention

Students have the right to a safe school environment. Anti-bullying awareness and action in our Texas public schools improves school safety and the whole learning environment. 

Texas’ David’s Law addresses harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying of public school students.  David’s Law encourages mental health programs, criminal penalties, and civil remedies.  This bullying checklist is used by public schools to help define bullying.

Custodians and Maintenance

Custodians ensure schools are clean and regularly maintained. This includes disinfecting, mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming. The custodians’ roles include stocking supplies and identifying issues like broken items or needed lighting.


Employee Safety

Safety in Texas schools is a top priority for district administrators and staff.  Many schools require employees to become familiar with safety protocols by offering regular safety courses. The Texas Department of Public Safety offers active shooter courses for educators and school staff.  Texas School Safety Training platforms like SafeSchools provide employees with valuable knowledge to protect our students.


The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) focuses on improving school climate and conditions for learning. Their mission is to provide the right resources and support to empower educational stakeholders to collaborate. They offer information, tools, and technical assistance, including data and trends. The organization provides focused information on COVID-19 responses, safe and supportive environment creation, and mental health wellness promotion.

The National PTA (Parent Teachers Association) provides webinars, parent FAQs, checklists, and prevention guidelines. 

Creating a safe and secure environment for students to learn and thrive is of paramount importance to public schools. Families and communities can contribute to safety and security through knowledge and involvement.

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