Every school in America needs a comprehensive plan of action to combat violence – one that gives parents and local leaders a central role in improving school safety by working with school personnel, law enforcement agencies, and social agencies.  We need to have concrete programs in place to prevent violence from occurring and to respond quickly and efficiently if it does.  Being safe means being smart and prepared – we cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to protecting our children.

Teachers and administrators alone cannot do the job of taking back school yards and study halls from criminals, but Washington cannot provide a uniform cure that fits every school either.  Schools and communities must work together to ensure that schools are safe places of learning for America’s students.  It is important for everyone – students, parents, teachers, administrators, community members and elected officials – to get involved to protect their schools.

I commend the President for hosting the Conference on School Safety, and I thank all of the participants for their important contributions.  The summit provided a forum for open dialogue that is critical to getting the word out about improving school safety, and determining what works, and what does not.