The National School Safety Center (NSSC) was created by a presidential directive in 1984 under a noncompetitive two-year grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The NSSC represents a partnership between the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, and Pepperdine University. It was established to help restore school safety and discipline through a comprehensive national program of training, technical assistance, and coordination. It was modeled after the California School Safety Center, which was established in 1981 in the California State Attorney General’s office.
The NSSC’s overall goal is to provide a national focus on school safety. Ten tasks originally defined the project:
- Encourage effective interagency efforts to improve school safety
- Gather nationwide information on school safety and crime prevention techniques
- Analyze nationwide legal information regarding school discipline
- Develop a distinguished national school safety information network
- Participate in relevant conferences
- Create a national awards program to recognize exemplary school safety programs
- Publish a national school safety bulletin
- Prepare school crime and safety materials for use by educators
- Conduct a nationwide multimedia school safety campaign
- Liaise with key officials to provide assistance in the prevention of school crime
Presently, the NSSC’s national headquarters are in Westlake Village, California. According to its current mission statement, the NSSC serves as an advocate for safe and secure schools and as an agent for the prevention of school crime and violence. It provides schools with quality information, resources, consultation, and training, and it promotes strategies, practices, and programs that support safe schools. NSSC’s communications section conducts a comprehensive national public relations program that includes public service announcements, films, publications, resource papers, articles, conferences, and other promotional activities. Its School Safety News Service is published nine times annually and is considered one of the United States’ leading school crime prevention news journals. It features topical articles by prominent authors and draws attention to trends and exemplary programs for delinquency prevention and school safety. The NSSC also maintains a resource center with more than 50,000 articles, publications, and films on victim’s rights, school security, student discipline, bullying, character development, law-related education, drug trafficking and abuse, school/law enforcement partnerships, public/community relations, and attendance issues. The NSSC’s field services section coordinates a national network of educational, legal, business, and civil leaders who cooperate in an effort to maintain safe schools. The field services section provides online training and technical assistance programs.
The NSSC believes that schools have the ability and obligation to create and maintain secure and effective places of learning. It contends further that this work is best done with the help of school safety partners, and that today great opportunities exist to apply the best of school safety research and practices to the vision of safe schools for all students.
- National School Safety Center. (October 22, 2009). Retrieved from http://www.schoolsafety.us/
- United States General Accounting Office. (1985). Information on the National School Safety Center: Report to the Honorable Arlen Specter, Chairman, Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice Committee on the Judiciary United States Senate. Washington, DC.