California schools required to have safety plans starting next school year

Plans will help prepare schools for emergencies

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The California Department of Education said Friday that the department will be taking a new step to help ensure the safety of students starting next school year.

Schools must have comprehensive safety plans beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson announced Friday.

Local school districts will have to approve safety plans for all schools in the district by March 1 every year. Torlakson says mandatory school safety plans will help schools be as prepared as possible for emergencies.

For example, school safety plans must have clear policies to address hate crimes, acts of violence and their perpetrators. The comprehensive school safety plans must include a discrimination and harassment policy, Torlakson says.

School district superintendents and charter school administrators were sent a letter last month about the audit requirement and other requirements and guidance for school safety plans. 

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