Skip to main content
WEBINAR | September 27, 2023

Safe Schools, Thriving Students: School, District, State, and Federal Policy Lessons

Hosted by the Learning Policy Institute and co-sponsored by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and the Education Commission of the States
Teacher and student talking in a school hallway.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this video belong solely to the speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the perspective of the Learning Policy Institute.

School shootings have been steadily rising in recent years, adding to other longstanding concerns about school safety, ranging from fights to bullying. As students begin the new school year, there is widespread agreement that addressing physical safety threats they may encounter at school should be a priority—something Congress signed off on last year with the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

But how we ensure safe schools is a hotly debated topic. Should schools purchase metal detectors, hire police, or even arm teachers? Should they double down on zero tolerance policies and tougher disciplinary penalties? Should they increase supports for counseling and social-emotional learning or introduce restorative practices? 

In this webinar, national and state education leaders and policymakers discussed effective policy approaches and high-impact investments that can help create schools that foster student well-being and academic and social emotional learning. They explored research-based policies and strategies that point to effective ways to foster safe school environments, many of which can be supported by federal and state funding. The conversation included findings from two recent LPI reports, Safe Schools, Thriving Students: What We Know About Creating Safe and Supportive Schools and Fostering Belonging, Transforming Schools: The Impact of Restorative Practices.


  • Congressman Bobby Scott, Ranking Member, Committee on Education and the Workforce
  • Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute
  • Jennifer DePaoli, Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute
  • Jennifer McCombs, Chief of Research, Learning Policy Institute
  • Jacqueline Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer, National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • Ivory Toldson, Director of Education Innovation and Research, NAACP


This was the first webinar in a two-part series on creating schools that are both physically and psychologically safe for students and educators. Learn more and watch the second webinar in the series, Fostering Restorative Practices and Safe and Supportive Communities >>


Logos of webinar host and co-sponsor organizations