Our Goal: A Safe Learning Environment for Every Student
The Security Industry Association is dedicated to working to enhance the safety and security of schools in the United States. SIA supports increased federal assistance to schools struggling with the cost of meeting security needs, the adoption of successful state school security assistance programs and initiatives and nationwide use of best practices for school security.
Legislation: Immediate Action Congress Can Take to Improve School Safety
- SIA supported the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), which was enacted in June 2022 and among other provisions increases federal assistance to schools – $300 million for programs under the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, $1 billion for Title IV block grants through the U.S. Department of Education, both of which include sources of funding for school security improvements. The measure also codifies the codifies the multiagency clearinghouse of school safety best practices and resources provided at SchoolSafety.gov, bolstering this work and ensuring it continues to grow and improve. (See SIA's statement.)
- Enact S. 4369, the Safe Schools Act, introduced by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and supported by 19 other senators, which would allow districts and schools to repurpose unspent COVID-19 relief dollars from the allocated to schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, estimated at over $150 billion, for school security upgrades. (See SIA's statement.)
- Enact H.R. 8009, the Student and Teacher Safety Act, introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), which would fully authorize and encourage schools to use Title IV, Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) block grant funding for school safety infrastructure. (See SIA's statement.)
Resource: SIA Guide to School Security Funding
More than ever before, education leaders are seeking security enhancements to their facilities as part of their comprehensive school safety strategies.
Get centralized information on the variety of sources of funding available specifically for K-12 school security solutions in this new guide (free for SIA members!).
K-12 School Security: What SIA Recommends
- Follow best practices and guidelines developed by the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS)
- Expand federal assistance to schools struggling with the cost of meeting security needs
- Promote adoption of successful policy approaches to improving school security at the state level – see comparison developed by the Secure Schools Alliance
- Strengthen partnerships among local government, education professionals and public safety officials to promote deployment of effective technologies that enhance school safety and security
- Improve awareness related to school safety and security and increase training for staff, teachers, students and parents on school security risks and related best practices
Resources for School Security and Safety
PASS brings together expertise from the education, public safety and industry communities to develop and support a coordinated approach to making effective use of proven security practices specific to K-12 environments and informed decisions on security investments. PASS has created a free resource, the Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools, a layered and tiered approach to securing school environments based on local needs, nationwide best practices and making the most effective use of resources available.
The guidelines identify and classify best practices for securing K-12 facilities in response to urgent needs for information identified by the education community, including:
- Specific actions that can effectively raise the baseline of security
- Vetted security practices specific to K-12 environments
- Objective, reliable information on available safety and security technology
- A way to assess current security measures against nationwide best practices
- Multiple options for addressing security needs identified, based on available resources
- How to distinguish needed and effective solutions from sales pitches on unnecessary products
Other School Safety Resources
Launched in 2020, SchoolSafety.gov is a clearinghouse to provide school safety strategies and serve as a central location for federal resources, a key recommendation by the Federal Commission on School Safety. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services created SchoolSafety.gov to share actionable recommendations to keep school communities safe. SchoolSafety.gov aims to help schools prevent, protect, mitigate, respond to and recover from a range of school safety threats, hazards and emergency situations.
The Safe and Sound Schools organization, a non-profit founded by parents, teachers and community members in the wake of the attack on Newtown, Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, offers a vast resource library to help communities improve school safety.
The National School Board Association's website provides an in-depth collection of articles and resources on school safety and crisis management.
The School Superintendents Association website offers its "ABCs of School Safety," an overview of school safety organized under three categories: Awareness, Balance, and Control. The site also provides links to other school safety resources.
The National Parent Teacher Association provides resources on student safety, including an extensive collection of PTA-focused violence prevention recommendations. The site also provides information on "Connect for Respect," a bullying prevention program.