Five Questions to Ask: School Climate & Safety

  1. What are your local school district’s policies about reporting and recording incidents of violence within the schools? How frequently are student perpetrators referred to juvenile authorities?What is the relationship between the school system and the local police department (such as whether school resource officers report to the district or to the municipal police department)?
  2. How does your state law define bullying in schools?What programs does the school district have in place?
  3. Do schools in your area have gay-straight alliances?

    Do the schools utilize gay-friendly curricular and support materials?

  4. What are your school’s policies regarding students’ behavior on social networks and other forms of digital communication, both on- and off-campus? What are the policies for employees, particularly those governing their interactions with students in cyberspace?
  5. What kinds of counseling and support services do the schools you cover offer to students? How long have these employees worked on this particular campus and approximately how much time can they spend with individual students? What are the issues they have to address most frequently?