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With increased urgency following years of devastating school shootings, the attention of educators is now intently focused on ensuring students’ safety and health.  The threats to students today are unprecedented in American history. Gun violence is only the most concerning of many complex issues that include everything from mental health, suicide, bullying, and other forms of trauma, that land atop long-standing concerns about nutrition, emotional well-being, and physical health.

Earlier this month, the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, an effort led by the Johns Hopkins School of Education, was introduced to form a single cross-disciplinary center dedicated to addressing widespread student safety and health issues in total.

“Fear cannot be the basis for effective education policy or practice,” said Dean Christopher Morphew of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in his welcoming remarks at the conference, in which he introduced the center. “We need to do more to ensure that school leaders have the training and resources to create and maintain safe and healthy schools.”

Many universities are engaged in similar pursuits, but Johns Hopkins is the first institution of higher education to declare student safety and health as a leading public health priority for American schools. Let’s hope this is the first of many schools and K-12 organizations to follow in its path.

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Originally posted and reported by Johns Hopkins Debuts Center for Safe and Healthy Schools