Schools should be safety rated based on factors like building maintenance, campus security, and evaluations of teachers and school administrators’ actions to prevent and intervene upon safety-related issues, like fights, bullying, and sexual assault. Ratings would be based in part on student and parent evaluations of instructors and relevant school faculty and administrators, in part on synonymous school board reviews, and on findings of relevant state, federal, and/or other officials. Schools that make the grade should receive and/or sustain safe school certification, which would essentially mean that the school is physically and emotionally safe for students, which could increase enrollment, student retention, and property value in the school zone.

Schools that do not make the grade could experience a decrease in student enrollment and retention and adversely affect the value of homes in the school zone or discourage particularly buyers with children from moving into the communities; or those particular schools could potentially force property owners to rent or sell homes for substantially below market value…

All schools should be subject at any time to random visitation by ombudsmen, who could be any school employee, and who would report their findings and submit any acquired evidence. The purpose of the ombudsmen or knowledge of their clandestine presence would not be to intimidate staff; they would work with minimal to no fanfare at all, and in all professionalism. Schools that do not meet safety standards would receive written warnings from school boards and/or school board superiors (relevant state and/or federal authorities). If the issues are not corrected by follow-up, the relevant school(s) would be subject to punitive sanctions, which could include withholding of funding in certain instances and prosecution of culprits in others.

Safe school certificates would be posted near school entrances or administrative offices of awarded schools for public perusal, and schools would be emailed a Safe School logo to upload to their school websites. Schools that make the grade and earn safe school certification would be likely to see an increase in enrollment, where possible, and in student and staff retention…

The purpose of an initiative of this sort would be to bring all schools up to par on the issue of safety and to create a wholesome and non-hostile environment for all students and staff. The purpose would additionally be to prompt communities to get involved in pressuring those schools that do not make the grade to meet safety standards…

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