‘Every kid in Wisconsin should be able to learn in a safe environment’: DOJ grants $100M to WI schools for safety improvements

Local News

(WFRV) – For just about three years, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of School Safety (OSS) has awarded over $90 million in grants to Wisconsin schools in efforts of creating safer learning environments for all students.

According to the DOJ, since starting the grant program in 2018 with a goal of providing Wisconsin public, private, charter, and tribal schools with $100 million in grants for the implementation of safety enhancements, threat assessment training, and mental health training within all educational facilities, the DOJ states they have nearly reached their $100M cap and will soon begin closing out the program.

So far, $92,466,783.27 has been granted to Wisconsin’s educational system for the betterment and safety of all students. This funding was reportedly allocated towards several safety efforts including offering educators training on how to best deter, prevent, mitigate, and respond to school violence. DOJ reports they have trained more than 11,000 educators and law enforcement in Basic Threat Assessment and Adolescent Mental Health.

“DOJ’s Office of School Safety has worked with educators across the state to make our schools safer,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Every kid in Wisconsin should be able to learn in a safe environment.”

Furthermore, the funding also provided upgrades to the physical security of Wisconsin schools, which included adding new security systems, security cameras – and in some cases rebuilding entire school entrances to make them more secure.

The remaining $7.5 million of the $100 million grant has allegedly already been allocated for additional school safety projects around the state, including:

  • Emergency response grants for schools that experience a critical safety incident, and funds to develop regionally based critical incident response teams.
  • School resource officer training.
  • Adolescent mental health training.
  • Grants to every school building in Wisconsin for SUSO promotional materials.
  • A threat assessment study with the University of Wisconsin and 40 schools around the state, providing direct behavioral health services to children and to train threat assessment teams.

While the grant program may be closing out, its training and services will continue benefitting Wisconsin schools and students for years to come. The DOJ confirms the DOJ’s free and confidential threat reporting tip line, Speak Up Speak Out (SUSO) will continue servicing all schools as a one-stop place to turn with important school safety questions, guidance, and/or concerns.

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