Johns Hopkins University School of Education is creating a new center that will study school safety and student health, the Baltimore university announced on Monday.
The Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, consisting of over two dozen faculty experts in education, public health and arts and sciences, will study issues from suicide and trauma to bullying and gun violence, reports WAMU. The launch was announced by Christopher Morphew, the dean at the School of Education, at the Education Writers Association conference in Baltimore.
The program will focus on three areas of research:
- Health and wellness, including mental health, physical health and social and emotional well-being
- Schools and community engagement, including school functioning, district leadership, neighborhood safety and the involvement of school’s diverse stakeholders
- School security and technology, including the role of SROs, school safety technology, physical barriers and the relationships with local and state law enforcement agencies
Morphew explained the center is the first of its kind in the nation to thoroughly examine school safety as a matter of public health.
“There is really an urgent need right now around safe schools, and there is a dearth of evidence-based practice out there,” he said. “The center will foster a more informed discussion about solutions and best practices in creating safe and healthy school climates, and will provide educators and schools with the knowledge, tools, and resources they can use to achieve that goal.”
Far too often money is spent on physical safety rather than the issues that take away from a healthy school environment, Morphew continued, that can lead to suicide, trauma and bullying.
The center will release new research and resources for schools nationwide within the next few months and by next spring, it will offer “micro-credentialing” online courses for teachers.
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