Focus Areas

School Safety

With over 200 shootings in K-12 educational settings since the year 2000, serious violence has become an unfortunate reality for American schools. RTI conducts essential school safety and violence prevention research to identify, understand, and inform evidence-based best practices for promoting the safety and security of the nation’s students and school staff. We build this knowledge base through rigorous, multimethod research evaluations and exploratory studies, producing actionable knowledge that schools can use to become better prepared to prevent and respond to violence.

Our researchers have worked in hundreds of schools to study critical issues such as school violence and gang prevention, discipline disparities, mental health, and anti-bullying programs and initiatives, active shooter response and emergency preparedness, anonymous threat reporting tip lines, and The Cost of School Crime. RTI’s broad range of expertise, including conducting on-site observations and assessments, surveys, and in-depth interviews and focus groups with district officials, students, teachers, support staff, and top administrators and our ability to turn complex findings into practical solutions for schools positions as a leader in the field.

Project Highlight

National Assessment of School Safety Tip Lines

Tip lines allow students and others a confidential way to submit information about a potential threat. This National Institute of Justice-funded study is designed to generate a National Portrait of Tip Line Use in schools and assess whether the adoption of a tip line is associated with improvements in school safety. The project also includes a case study of the Safe Oregon school safety tip line. The School Tip Line Toolkit: A Blueprint for Implementation and Sustainability is aimed at supporting the start-up of school safety tip lines to other districts and states around the country.

Project Highlight

Comprehension of Emergency Operations Protocols Study

With shootings and other forms of serious violence in K-12 schools in the last two decades, schools are under an immense amount of pressure to develop sound emergency plans and procedures to help them prevent or mitigate an attack. This study examines how much students, teachers, and other staff in 10 middle and high schools throughout the country know and understand about the emergency procedures for violent events at their school.

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