Hofmeister announces $4 million in school safety grants

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 24, 2018) – In conjunction with Safe Schools Week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister today announced that the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) has received two federal grants totaling $4 million to bolster safety and security in public schools statewide.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded $3.7 million over five years to assist at least 85 school districts in the development and practice of Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs). The Oklahoma School Emergency Management grant will fund a state-level team of three full-time school safety and security staff to address school safety and security, provide statewide emergency training and assist schools in the development of local partnerships with first responders and law enforcement.

“Ensuring the safety of our students and schools is of paramount importance,” said Hofmeister. “Oklahoma is committed to providing families and schools with effective and appropriate tools to proactively address the safety and security of our children. We are grateful to have secured funding that will enable us to achieve that goal.”

The grant will also add text messaging functionality to a 24-hour tip line for parents, students and community members to report potential acts of violence in Oklahoma schools. Partners for the Oklahoma School Emergency Management grant include the Oklahoma School Security Institute through the Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security, the Comanche Nation, the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA), the Potts Family Foundation, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).

In the second grant, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $250,000 over three years to create an Oklahoma threat violence assessment curriculum and provide training to three school districts in Comanche County: Lawton, Geronimo and Cache Public Schools. The Oklahoma Violence Threat Assessment Project is possible through a collaboration between OSDE, UCO, the Salem-Keizer School District and the Oklahoma School Security Institute.

The program will include training for teachers, families and students on how to detect and prevent school violence. Upon completion of the project, the Oklahoma School Security Institute will provide training to all school districts in the state upon request.

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Last updated on October 24, 2018