COMMISSION ON SCHOOL SAFETY AND JUVENILE VIOLENCE

(Assembly Bill 686, Chapter 607, Statutes of Nevada 1999)

 

Mission

 

The commission is charged with two major responsibilities: (1) developing a statewide plan of emergency response to incidents of school violence; and (2) recommending intervention and prevention programs to reduce and treat youth violence.†

 

Commission Proceedings and Major Issues

 

The Commission on School Safety and Juvenile Violence was created by the 1999 Nevada Legislature after the Columbine High School tragedy.†† This 11-member commission is composed of legislators, law enforcement personnel, school administrators, teachers, and parents.† The commission is allowed up to three legislative measures to carry out its recommendations, with one measure reserved for codifying the school crisis response plan.

 

The commission has met four times to date and primarily concentrated on developing a statewide plan of emergency response to incidents of school violence to meet its January 2000 deadline (as mandated by A.B. 686).† To assist the commission, a nationally recognized expert in crisis management provided background and a possible framework for the plan.† In addition, spokespersons from organizations representing school boards, school administrators, teachers, school support staff, school police, law enforcement, parents, and students provided testimony and offered recommendations for the contents of the plan.† One theme became apparent from this testimony:  a sound violence prevention and response plan needs to address the common and distinctive needs of each school and community, including those that are directly and indirectly affected.

 

In short, the crisis response plan requires each school district to develop and adopt a model crisis response plan, which must be used by each school in the district, with exception in special circumstances.† Each school districtís plan must be developed by a district-wide committee, and in turn, each school will form a site-based team to implement the plan.† Additionally, the State Board of Education will develop necessary regulations for school districts, and the Division of Emergency Management will assist by coordinating the resources of federal, county, and city authorities.† As referenced earlier, this plan will be submitted to the 2001 Nevada Legislature for codification.†

 

Future commission meetings will primarily focus on developing recommendations regarding prevention and intervention programs to reduce the incidence of school and juvenile violence.† These recommendations and other bill draft requests will be finalized by the end of May.†

 

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