(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the creation of the new Ohio Student Safety Advisory Council within the Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC). The student-led Council will work to identify school safety concerns and develop innovative solutions to address them.
“School safety programs are designed to protect students, so it’s important that students are given the opportunity to be a part of the conversation,” said Governor DeWine. “Involving them in the process of identifying safety concerns and creating solutions will provide Ohioans with a new and important perspective for violence prevention.”
Findings from the student-based council meetings will be delivered to the Governor’s Ohio School Safety Working Group to generate statewide solutions and supports.
“Being a member of this statewide council will enable students to ensure their voice is heard when it comes to school safety,” Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath said. “They will learn more about student safety-related issues and help devise effective peer-driven solutions.”
To be eligible for the Council, students must:
- Be entering grade 11 for the 2022-2023 school year.
- Submit a completed application and nomination letter, which must be submitted together to OhioSchoolSafetyCenter@dps.ohio.gov prior to the May 6, 2022 deadline to be considered.
- Agree to serve a one-year term and attend monthly virtual meetings and one in-person meeting in Columbus.
Two students from each of the five school safety center regions will be selected for the Council.
Students will have the opportunity to be involved in additional events both in person and remotely throughout their term. Those selected should plan on spending no fewer than 10 hours per month on group activities/work.
Council members will develop strategies to encourage their peers to actively engage in maintaining a safe school environment and will be an advocate for students’ overall well-being. Students will work directly with the regional school safety liaisons from the OSSC to organize events, focus groups, and trainings in their regions to help highlight student success and safety best practices at various schools. These members will also act as a sounding board for the Governor’s Ohio School Safety Working Group and OSSC on student marketing campaigns and projects to ensure a student voice is represented.
Candidates chosen to move forward with the process will be asked to attend a virtual interview. The OSSC plans to announce the student council member selections at the end of May.
Additional information can be found on the OSSC website.