Silver Spring, Md.—The Security Industry Association (SIA) strongly supports S. 2495, the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018, introduced Monday by a bipartisan coalition of 25 U.S. senators led by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
The legislation would fund school security improvements and invest in prevention programs to stop school violence before it happens. Specifically, the legislation would authorize the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make grants to train students, school personnel and law enforcement to identify signs of violence and intervene to prevent harm. The bill also would fund technology and equipment to improve school security and prevent school violence, aligning with efforts by SIA, the law enforcement and the education communities to revive DOJ school security assistance—a top policy priority of the association since program authorization lapsed in 2009.
In a letter supporting the STOP School Violence Act, SIA CEO Don Erickson wrote to Hatch and Klobuchar, saying, “Your legislation recognizes that schools should be the safest place children can be—safer than any other environment outside of their homes.”
“Sadly, our nation’s schools have increasingly become a soft target for mass violence—at Sandy Hook Elementary, recently at Stoneman Douglas High School [in Parkland, Florida] and in many other attacks,” Erickson said. “We support a holistic approach to bolstering school safety and security in response to these tragedies, recognizing there is no single action that can be taken that will, by itself, make our schools safe.
“Modern, effective security infrastructure is an essential component of any comprehensive school safety strategy. When other prevention efforts fail, security measures such as campus access and classroom entrance control, ballistic protection, alarm systems, video surveillance, emergency communications technology and other protections are critical to deterring, limiting and responding to school violence,” he added.
The STOP School Violence Act would revive and expand DOJ grants to help schools struggling to implement critical safety programs and security measures, authorizing $100 million in funding per year through 2028. Such assistance has remained unavailable since fiscal 2011. The bill also would update the program to help schools utilize the most effective technology, equipment, training programs and technical assistance that best align with unique local needs.
Addressing security gaps at K-12 schools has become an increasing concern for students, parents, teachers, administrators and law enforcement. To assist with addressing those concerns, SIA and the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA) formed the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), a consortium of school security experts that developed threat- and income-based guidelines for schools housing grades K-12 to implement appropriate, layered security measures. Those guidelines are available to help guide school investments at http://passk12.org/toolkits/.
About the Security Industry Association
The Security Industry Association (SIA) (https://www.securityindustry.org) is the leading trade association for global security solution providers, with more than 800 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities. SIA also enhances the position of its members in the security marketplace through SIA Government Summit, which brings together private industry with government decision makers, and Securing New Ground®, the security industry’s top executive conference for peer-to-peer networking.