National Association of Attorneys General Campus Safety Task Force
Attorney General Hardy Myers joined the National Association of Attorneys General in forming the Campus Safety Task Force in an effort to examine legal issues related to school violence and safety. The Task Force is chaired by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch and is tasked with identifying innovative programs, policies, and legislative initiatives that may serve to fill the gaps in existing school safety protocols. Task Force members will also examine key relationships that Attorneys General must build to effectively address school violence and safety issues, including those with educators, law enforcement, and public and private educational advocacy groups.
Recent statistics indicate that the rate of serious violent crime has fallen and that college campuses are relatively safe places on which students can live and learn. Since the early 1990s, there have been on average 20 murders on campuses each year, out of some 16 million students who attend annually, according to a recent report in U.S. News and World Report magazine.
However, the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech underscores the need for continued work by Attorneys General, law enforcement, school officials, mental health experts, and other groups to ensure a learning environment that is free of violence. Shortly after the Virginia Tech incident, the President of NAAG, Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, determined to establish an ad hoc Task Force on School Safety.
On May 3, 2007, several former Attorneys General now serving in the United States Senate wrote to Attorneys General asking them to assess the state of campus security around the country and make recommendations for improvements. U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (CT), Mark Pryor (AL), Ken Salazar (CO), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), asked Attorneys General to respond to questions surrounding contingency trainings, safety practices, and emergency notification procedures, as well as actions the federal government can take to facilitate emergency planning and law enforcement response on college campuses.
To carry out its mission, the Task Force reviewed numerous documents and conducted five national telephone conferences. The links below provide access to information about the Task Force and access to information provided to the Task Force by experts on school and campus safety