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Ohio Safe Schools Summit Promotes Safe and Drug-free School Environments

Release date: 7/24/2012

This one-day event is bringing together representatives from 250 state agencies, the education community and first responders. They are focusing on a four-part approach to school safety that includes prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Governor John R. Kasich, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Superintendent Stan W. Heffner are making special remarks.
“This is a great opportunity for local school district leaders to learn how they can strengthen their school safety plans and provide increased protection for the children of their districts,” said Superintendent Heffner. “When students enter our schools, their safety is our number one priority.”

Drs. Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, UCLA, Center for Mental Health in Schools, are opening the Summit and addressing the need for schools and communities to work together on barriers to learning and teaching so disconnected students are re-engaged.

“Ohioans know too well how suddenly our normally peaceful schools can experience violence,” said Attorney General DeWine. “The hundreds of participants at this summit is a clear sign that the safety of our children is paramount and we will continue to do all we can to make our schools safe.”
Attorney General DeWine urges Ohio schools to keep each school building’s floor plan and safety plan up-to-date and filed with his office. School safety plans may be sent by e-mail to SchoolPlans@OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. Hard copies of the plans may be mailed to the Attorney General's office at: School Digitization Project, The Ohio Attorney General's Office, 150 East Gay Street, 18th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Participants at the meeting are discussing quality safety plans and components necessary to create positive school climates. They are sharing best practices and previous experiences including hearing from the school leaders at Chardon School District where three students were shot and killed by another student in February.

Additionally, the day will reinforce the importance of a network between local education agencies and local community partners and promote coordination of activities and maintenance of relationships to create a safe and supportive learning environment with Ohio’s schools.

Materials from the conference are available at education.ohio.gov. Enter 2012 Safe Schools Summit in search.

Summit sponsors include Governor John Kasich, Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Education and Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center. Other participating agencies include the Ohio departments of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, Health, Mental Health and Public Safety, as well as Ohio Family and Children First and the Ohio School Boards Association.