[The following blog post, originally published Feb. 21, 2018, has been updated following the May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas.]
Approximately 50 million students attend 100,000 public schools in the United States. These schools are where young minds are sharpened and tomorrow’s leaders are forged, and the Security Industry Association (SIA) is dedicated to working to enhance the safety and security of the students, staff and faculty at these learning environments.
In the wake of horrific incidents earlier this year in Parkland, Florida, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and at Texas’ Santa Fe High School last week, SIA is motivated to share information related to our efforts on school security. Ranging from the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools‘ (PASS’) school security guidelines to our efforts in supporting U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grants for school security improvements, the volunteers and staff of SIA have been very active in promoting and advancing school safety.
PASS Guidelines for School Safety: SIA cofounded PASS, and this alliance has produced K-12 school security guidelines, which are customized based on local risk levels and available resources and budgets. The guidelines are entirely free, and we encourage everyone –particularly education professionals, law enforcement and security industry professionals – to take advantage of this public resource.
SIA Video Advocating Investment in School Security: Found on our School Security Resources web page, this video advocates for smart investment in security at our nation’s K–12 schools, colleges and universities.
DOJ School Security Grants: SIA has been a longstanding proponent of revitalizing the DOJ grant programs focused on school security, and we were particularly pleased when Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 included legislation known as the STOP School Violence Act. This legislation authorized nearly $1 billion through 2028 for school safety matching grant programs, to be administered by the DOJ. See the details on this school safety and security grants program.
SIA Education @ ISC West: School safety topics have been and will continue to be a vital part of our educational offerings. On April 10, 2018, at ISC West, SIA Education@ISC produced a popular panel titled Class Is in Session: Keeping Students Safe in Today’s Risk Landscape.
Partnering With the Congressional School Safety Caucus: Launched by Reps. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., and Susan Brooks, R-Ind., in 2016, the Congressional School Safety Caucus holds briefings and has worked to spur action related to school safety. SIA has partnered with the caucus and helped support briefings and information sharing sessions held by the caucus.
School Security Roundtable at SIA GovSummit: At our 2017 SIA GovSummit, we presented a standing-room-only school security briefing on Capitol Hill, and at the 2018 SIA GovSummit (June 27–28), we are expanding our focus on school security. On Day 1, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Student Jake Glacer and his father Noel Glacer will address attendees during our conference dinner, and on Day 2, a half-day program features an in-depth program on school security, featuring experts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Police Foundation, the University of Southern California and PASS.
Barricade Devices Position Statement: SIA has responded to calls for use of classroom barricade devices, explaining why such devices are prohibited by codes related to emergency egress and why conventional locksets present workable solutions without creating life safety hazards.
Supporting Pro-Security State Legislation: SIA has provided information and input to legislators and supported numerous bills to improve schools security at the state level, including legislation recently in the state of Michigan.
If you have questions about any of these efforts, or if you would like to help, contact Joe Hoellerer, SIA manager of government relations, at email@example.com.