Overview

The Office of School Safety and Prevention (SS&P) provides funding, training, and technical assistance for safe and supportive learning environments that meet the continuum of school safety ~ prevention, intervention and response. Through collaboration with diverse local, state and federal partners, the Office supports Arizona schools so that students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn. Strategies utilized by SS&P are grounded in evidence of effectiveness, and the Office contributes to the knowledge base through its own data collection, program evaluation, and research efforts.

Vision

All Arizona school communities will provide a safe and supportive learning environment that cultivates positive child and youth development, well-being and success in education and in life.

Mission

School Safety and Prevention works collaboratively across disciplines to empower schools in utilizing evidence-based practices to create safe and supportive learning environments.

What You Should Know

Research supports the relationship between risk behaviors, conditions on campus, and academic performance.

    • A substantial body of evidence demonstrates that school violence and disorder interfere with normal psychosocial development and academic learning.
    • Students who feel safe at school perform better academically than students that do not feel safe.
    • The use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is closely related to reduced attention span, lower investment in homework, negative attitudes toward school, lower motivation, and increased absenteeism.
    • Students who are threatened with violence on school grounds have lower academic achievement scores than students that have not been threatened with violence.
    • Kids who feel connected to school are less likely to be involved in risky health behaviors: drug use, cigarette smoking, early sex, violence, and suicidal thoughts and attempts.
    • Considerable overlap exists among the risk factors that predispose youth to substance abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, and school failure.  The same is true for protective factors that buffer them against negative like outcomes.
    • Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school than girls who delay childbearing…

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis of 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results show a negative association between alcohol/substance use, violent behaviors and sexual risk behaviors and academic achievement among high school students after controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, and grade level.  Correspondingly, an analysis of 2009 Arizona YRBS data shows students who reported any of the following behaviors were more likely to have lower grades: current alcohol use; being in a fight on school property; missing school because they felt unsafe; and being a victim or aggressor of electronic bulling.  The more frequently a student reported being bullied or harassed at school, the more likely they were to report lower grades.