The safety of American children who attend overseas schools is of vital concern to the Department of State. The Department has provided physical security enhancement grants totaling over $93 million to 564 schools worldwide in which USG dependents and other American citizen children are enrolled. Of this amount, $60 million was awarded by the Office of Overseas Schools (OS) to 196 Department-assisted schools, and $33 million was awarded by the Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) to 370 non-Department-assisted schools. The regional security officers originate these grants, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security reviews them, and the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations provides the funding. Either OS or AQM issues the grants depending on whether or not the grant is to a Department-assisted school or not. Security enhancements include shatter resistant window film, public address systems, emergency radio communication, perimeter walls and fences, bollards, gates, guard houses, closed circuit TV systems, perimeter lighting, and similar upgrades. It is anticipated that Congress will continue to fund this program for the foreseeable future.
The Emergency Procedures Manual was first published by the Central and Eastern European Association (CEESA) in 1998 through a grant from the Overseas Schools Advisory Council and has been revised several times with new information. In 2007-2008, CEESA added two new chapters on terrorism and school violence/bullying. The manual is published on a CD-ROM, which was mailed to all Department-assisted overseas schools, interested international schools, regional education associations and international organizations. OS has notified all overseas posts and has recommended that they download it and make it available to any international school that requests a copy.
OS, in consultation with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, has published a booklet, Security Guide for International Schools, and an accompanying CD to assist international schools in building and implementing a security program. The booklet presents an overview of issues dealing with security while the accompanying CD contains a program, School Security, which will help schools improve their security. It also contains reference material and videos with detailed information for the development and enhancement of a school’s security program. The Guide is part of the Department's continuing commitment to the safety and se