NCPCV founder joins Virginia work group about student safety

Bobby Kipper, founder and executive director of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, has been named to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Work Group on Student Safety.

Kipper, school safety and discipline specialist with the Virginia Department of Education, is part of a multidisciplinary team of Virginia educators, public safety officials, community partners, mental health practitioners, and other school personnel tasked to make recommendations about enhancing school safety directly to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

The work group formation follows Gov. Northam’s Executive Order 11, which in June re-established the Children’s Cabinet.

As part of the team, Kipper will call upon his three decades of experience leading anti-violence and anti-bullying programs for schools and communities across the nation. The work group will make recommendations to the governor about:

  • Enhancing information sharing and the effectiveness of threat assessments teams
  • Assessing the role, prevalence, and training of school resource and school security officers
  • Evaluating existing ratios and staffing levels for school support staff
  • Identifying opportunities to expand relevant training to a variety of school-based personnel
  • Consideration of other school-based programs or supports, including mental health supports, needed to secure the safety of all students

The group is directed to make recommendations for the governor by Oct. 1. They met for the first time last week.

“Virginia’s proactive policy approach has empowered our schools to prepare for and respond to new and evolving challenges, establishing the Commonwealth as a national leader in school safety,” Gov Northam said in an announcement about the group. “I look forward to the recommendations from this group of experts on the opportunities to enhance protection of our schools, our communities, and our children.”

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and Secretary of Education Atif Qarn co-chair the group.

“The members that have been assembled for this work group have devoted their careers to student safety,” Moran said in the announcement. “The diverse range of backgrounds and expertise will provide critical perspectives as we address this issue.”

Qarni reflected on the importance of a safe school environment on students and learning.

“I look forward to working with this group of talented individuals to create recommendations that will help Virginia schools continue to be a place where families are confident their children will be safe, and where students feel safe and ready to learn,” Qarni said.

To see the full press release of the announcement, including a list of other members of the group, visit