Education Commission of the States researched K-12 school safety policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to provide this comprehensive resource. This resource does not include district- or school-level policies, handbooks, manuals or other sources outside of state statute or regulations. Education Commission of the States does not provide legal advice on specific circumstances. The information here gives an overview of relevant laws in each state and does not reflect how these laws may interact with other state or federal policies.
Click on the safety topic below for 50-State Comparisons showing how each state approaches policies in that area. View a specific state’s approach by going to the individual state profile.
- General School Safety includes information on state school safety entities and on school safety training for teachers and staff.
- School Safety Plans examines whether state statute or regulations require school safety plans and provides additional details on such plans in states where they are required.
- School Facility Safety Audits examines whether state statute or regulations require safety audits of school facilities and provides additional details on such audits in states where they are required.
- School Safety Drills examines state statute or regulations requiring drills related to school safety or security and provides additional details on the frequency and completion of such drills.
- School Resource Officers examines policies outlining school resource officers and other school security personnel, including information on roles, responsibilities and training requirements.
- Guns in Schools examines statute or regulations to assess whether school security personnel have the ability to possess firearms in schools and whether other school employees or concealed carry permit holders are explicitly authorized to possess firearms in schools. Additionally, it examines whether districts, schools or school boards have the authority to either permit firearms in schools or to authorize specific individuals to possess firearms.
- At least 32 states have established a school safety entity, including centers, boards or offices.
- At least 44 states and the District of Columbia require a school safety plan in statute or regulation.
- At least 30 states and the District of Columbia require law enforcement agencies to be involved in the creation of a school safety plan.
- Emergency Response Procedures are the most required component of school safety plans (28 states).
- At least 45 states require schools to conduct safety or security drills in state statute or regulation. Other states may require drills through handbooks, guides or other rules.
- At least 17 states require local law enforcement agencies to be involved in conducting school safety drills.
- At least 16 states and the District of Columbia require safety audits of school facilities.
- Completion of Officer Training is the most required component of school resource officer training.
- For additional research, products and blog posts, please see our Key Issues page on safety.
- View enacted and vetoed legislation related to K-12 school safety on our State Education Policy Tracking resource.
- For information on state approaches to safety at the postsecondary level, please see the Education Commission of the States 50-State Comparison on Postsecondary Campus Safety.
PUBLISHED: October 5, 2022
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison