A half-day Secure Schools Roundtable was held on Capitol Hill as part of the Security Industry Association (SIA) GovSummit 2018. Legislators, academics, emergency services experts and more discussed the need for enhanced school security in the wake of tragedies in schools across the United States, including the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Student Jake Glacer, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, and his father, Noel Glacer, discussed Jake’s experiences on the day of the shooting and the school’s lack of a standard operating procedure for dealing with an active shooter incident.

We used to live in the Parkland bubble, and now we live under the Parkland cloud,” said Noel.

Jake and Noel emphasised the need for better school security solutions, training and drills

School security solutions

Jake and Noel emphasised the need for better school security solutions, training and drills and encouraged people interested in contributing to Parkland’s school security to visit sosparkland.org.

I’m trying to take a bad situation and do good out of it,” said Jake. “If I could save one life by talking about this, it’s worth it.”

Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) – co-chairs of the Congressional School Safety Caucus – also spoke at the roundtable, highlighting the importance of legislation like the STOP School Violence Act and efforts like research on the causes of gun violence to address this important issue. “Kids should be worried about learning, not whether their schools will be the next to fall victim to tragedy,” said Larsen.

Secure Schools Roundtable: Opening Remarks

Speakers:

  • Tim Eckersley, Senior Vice President and President of the Americas, Allegion
  • Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Co-Chair, Congressional School Safety Caucus
  • Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Co-Chair, Congressional School Safety Caucus

Quotes:

  • Kids not only need tools to learn – they need an environment that allows them to thrive. If kids are worried about the safety in their schools and surviving in school, there’s no way they can succeed.” – Tim Eckersley
  • It’s our moral obligation as an industry to address this issue.” – Tim Eckersley
  • While no one law can stop school violence, the STOP School Violence Act has steps Congress can take to save lives and make schools safer.” – Rick Larsen

The session highlighted standards and best practices for school security, including research conducted by the Police FoundatBest practices for school security

Secure Schools Roundtable: Development of Standards and Best Practices for School Security

Speakers:

  • Erroll Southers, Professor of the Practice of Governance, University of Southern California
  • Ben Gorban, Policy Analyst, Police Foundation
  • John Montes, Emergency Services Specialist, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Mark Williams, Steering Committee Director, Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS)

School facility security standards

Summary:

This session highlighted standards and best practices for school security, including research conducted by the Police Foundation on state school facility security standards, requirements and guidelines, the NFPA 3000 standard for active shooter incidents and PASS’ work to help schools implement effective school security technologies.

Quotes:

  • I never thought we’d reach a time where I’d be called to respond to school shooting incidents because they exceed homegrown terrorism.” – Dr. Erroll Southers
  • It shouldn’t take an incident – but when it does, policies like tax reform go out the window and school safety becomes #1. We shouldn’t wait until an incident occurs.” – Ben Gorban
  • [The impact of a school shooting] doesn’t end when it stops being reported on CNN – it goes on forever.” – John Montes
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