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 Student Safety and Well-Being

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs​

Prevention and intervention efforts that address student alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) abuse are vital for keeping students safe, healthy, and in school. Tiered strategies that address both prevention and intervention within a positive school climate can help students build protective factors and resilience strategies to decrease the prevalence and occurrence of student ATOD use and related risk behaviors. Learn more...

Child Abuse and Child Protection​

Educators who work with school-age children and youth are in the unique position of being “on the front lines” of recognizing the warning signs of possible child maltreatment and endangerment. Georgia law requires annual training for educators to help protect our most vulnerable populations.​ Learn more...

Suicide Prevention​ / Mental Health

Since the Jason Flatt Act became Georgia law in 2015, schools have been required to provide annual suicide prevention training for staff. Effective suicide policies and protocols that encompass tiered prevention, intervention, and postvention should include training and resources for educators who are interacting with children and youth, including mental health awareness and supports. Learn more...

Gang Awareness

Gang affiliation is not something that students leave behind when they enter the school building. If a gang presence exists at school, it cannot be ignored. School administrators should address gang-related issues head-on or they will fester, harm school climate, and impede the learning environment. Learn more​...

Protective Factors​

Protective factors are characteristics or behaviors that can reduce the impact of risk factors and help students achieve positive outcomes. Feeling connected to others and having a trusted adult are two of the most significant protective factors young people can experience. Learn more...



 Contact Information


Garry McGiboney, Ph.D. ​​
Deputy Superintendent 
Office of School Safety and Climate 
Phone: (404) 656-5669 ​
Cheryl Benefield
Program Manager
Safe and Supportive Schools
Phone: (404) 651-7179
Jeff Hodges
Program Specialist
Safe and Supportive Schools
Phone: (404) 463-7891​​

Find us on Twitter @GaDOESafeSchool​​