Press Release: Secure Schools Alliance Co-Sponsors Congressional School Safety Caucus Briefing

WILMINGTON, DE (June 15, 2017) – The Secure Schools Alliance Research and Education (the Alliance) organization and the Security Industry Association will co-sponsor the Congressional School Safety Caucus Briefing & Lunch: “Securing America’s K-12 Schools” on June 28, 2017, from 12-1 p.m., at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, HVC-201. The event is free to attend, but registration is required.

Chaired by Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), the Congressional School Safety Caucus (CSSC) is dedicated to bringing lawmakers together with education, law enforcement, government and private sector leaders to discuss how to improve safety and security at our nation’s schools. Rep. Brooks will make remarks on efforts in Congress to improve school safety.

The CSSC is a valuable resource and advocate for the improvement of school safety. We are grateful for their support and the opportunity to present this briefing,” said Robert Boyd, executive director of the Alliance and moderator for the special event. “School safety is a non-partisan issue. We encourage all members of Congress to join the CSSC and help lead the effort to make America’s schools safe.”

The panelists for “Securing America’s K-12 Schools” include:

Michele Gay, Executive Director of Safe and Sound Schools. Gay shares the inspiring way she has chosen to help school communities improve school safety in honor of her daughter, Josephine, and memory of the other 19 children and six teachers lost on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

Guy Grace, Director of Public Safety for the Littleton, Colorado, School District. On April 12, 1999, the world was shocked by the mass murder of 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School. Learn what changes to school security and safety that community made in response to that tragedy.

Robert Quinn of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and David Woodward of the Indiana Department of Education. Indiana state officials will present the proactive steps that Indiana is taking to improve school security and safety as well as how it could serve as a model for other states. In 2016, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation directing the establishment and maintenance of guidelines for school emergency response systems in conjunction with experts from the division of school building physical security and safety.

“This event will tie the need for improving the security of America’s K-12 public schools to real-life stories and expert perspectives. We also want to highlight what one state, Indiana, is doing to improve the safety of its schools,” added Boyd. “Indiana is a leader in the fight to improve school safety.”

The Alliance recently released a first-of-its-kind tool: An interactive map of state security policies and resources for K-12 public schools. The Alliance partnered with the Police Foundation and Dr. Erroll Southers of TAL Global to develop the online tool, which is intended to offer decision makers a place to easily review school safety and security best practices.

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Investing in School Infrastructure Is Investing in Our Children

By: Mike Griffin and Tim Eckersley

Few people would argue against the idea that our children are our nation’s most important asset. Simply put, they’re our future. If we want to protect our future, we must protect them. And, to do that, we must secure the places where they thrive – like schools.

In fact, most children in our country are in school for 6-7 hours per day for approximately 180 days per year. That’s more than 1,000 hours each year, not counting before or after school programs and extracurricular activities. With so much of their time spent in school or on school grounds, it’s important to address the real security needs of education, many of which lie in physical infrastructure issues.

Currently, there are approximately 100,000 public K-12 schools in America. On average, the main instructional buildings for these schools are more than 40 years old. The age of those buildings can create an issue in building quality, possibly negatively affecting both students and teachers. (Studies show student achievement is linked to building quality, and facility quality can have a “substantively significant” effect on teacher retention.) If students are in school to learn and teachers are in school to teach, we want them to do that to the greatest of their abilities. They must have safe learning and teaching environments. (Read more . . .)

Home page photo credit: Alan Levine (License)

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