MU College of Education will help principals improve school safety

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COLUMBIA – University of Missouri’s College of Education alongside Missouri Prevention Center, received a $4.1 million grant from the National Institution of Justice Monday.

The grant was given to the college to study a training program specifically for principals. According to the MU College of Education, no training program that has been scientifically proven to help improve school safety currently exists for principals.

"The Mizzou College of Education has had a long history of important work that has led to better teaching and better schools, and this latest project is just another example of MU faculty working to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere," said Convergence News Manager Nathan Hurst. 

According to the MU College of Education, 17 percent of high schoolers have seriously considered suicide in the past year and 22 percent of children ages 12-18 say they have been bullied in the last month.

In hopes of lowering these numbers, the MU College of Education will implement the Safe and Civil Schools Leadership Program at 60 different schools in the Puget Sound region in Washington. 

The program has several different goals. Over the next four years it aims to help principals learn how to collect and use the data to make important decisions about the school. It will also establish behavior leadership teams that will monitor and interpret the data. 

One of it's main focuses will be on student behavior. The program will monitor students in all school settings like buses, common areas and hallways, not just classrooms

MU researchers will study it's implementation over the course of the next four years. Researchers will gather individual data from each school. The data will focus on things like the physical and emotional safety climate, rate of bullying victimization and other important factors to help determine an overall safety rating of each school.