Georgia officials use federal grant to create school safety website, training for school districts

(The Center Square) – Georgia authorities are using a federal grant to fund a new website to disseminate school safety resources and updated training to Georgia schools.

The Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency are using a Bureau of Justice Assistance STOP School Violence Grant to fund the new Georgia Center for School Safety website.

State officials described the website as a clearinghouse to distribute school safety resources and updated training to school and district staff, community partners and the public. They say the information will help them recognize, prevent and respond to violent acts.

“Georgia continues to advance when it comes to school safety,” GEMA/HS Director Chris Stallings said in an announcement. “Thanks to our partnership with the Department of Education, we’ve updated the School Safety Plan Template and Guide to ensure that schools have guidelines on creating their own plan for natural and man-made disasters.”

The state’s safety program includes web and in-person training on various topics, including school safety assessments, responding to an active shooter and emergency operations planning.

“Student safety is our absolute top priority,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in an announcement.

In May, Georgia officials said they were working to create Behavioral Threat Assessment Teams throughout the state as part of a broader school safety effort. In a Friday tweet, Gov. Brian Kemp said the Georgia Public Safety Training Center “will train 400 School Resource Officers.”

Meghan Frick, the director of communications for the GaDOE, and Christen Robinson, the acting supervisor for external affairs for GEMA, did not respond to multiple requests for more information.

Separately, last week, the Cobb County School Board approved a policy that allows some school employees, but not teachers, to carry guns at school.