Our Goal: A Safe Learning Environment for Every Student
About 50 million students attend 100,000 public schools in the United States, and the Security Industry Association is dedicated to working to enhance the safety and security of those facilities. SIA co-founded the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), worked with lawmakers to support the Congressional School Safety Caucus and advocates for legislative and regulatory measures that will help to provide students with safe environments in which to learn, where security technology is a vital component.
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.
K-12 School Security: What SIA Recommends
- Follow best practices and guidelines developed by 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 with local government, education professionals and law enforcement 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
Join: The Congressional School Safety Caucus (chaired by Reps. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., and Rick Larsen, D-Wash.)
SIA Position Statements
Co-Sponsor: Securing Our Schools Act
SIA supports H.R. 5731, the Securing Our Schools Act (Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas), which expands and clarifies allowable uses for homeland security grants relating to physical security protections at schools. The legislation also requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a strategy for securing K-12 schools and institutions of higher education from terrorism, active shooters and other homeland security threats.
Co-Sponsor: Student and Teacher Safety Act
SIA supports H.R. 5332/S. 2515, the Student and Teacher Safety Act (Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis./Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.), which clarifies states and local educational agencies may utilize existing federal grants funds received under Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act to make safety improvements on school campuses, including the installment of emergency communications systems, emergency tip lines, locks, video surveillance, security glass, hardened entrances, duress alarms and perimeter fencing.
SIA Position on Classroom Barricade Devices
SIA joined colleagues at the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools to clarify a position on the appropriate use of barricade devices.
Resources for School Security and Safety
Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS)
PASS developed as SIA and NSCA tried to answer questions from the education community about what can be done to better secure K-12 schools and how these security projects can be funded. Because budgets are tight and since security threats are statistically rare when a school system makes an investment in security, PASS created guidelines to ensure funding is spent on the right solutions.
What the PASS Guidelines Offer:
- Define threats common to schools at each educational level
- Offer recommendations on parental and community involvement
- Detail a layered security approach that combats common threats and mitigates risks related to active shooters
- Provide information for integrators, school administrators, resource officers, and IT staff on technology-focused solutions like video surveillance, duress alarms, and electronic access control
- Deliver scalable/tiered measures that administrators can implement based on available resources and local risk levels
Other School Safety Resources
Launched by Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) in 2016, the Caucus regularly holds briefings related to school security and safety and represents a variety of interests. The Security Industry Association has collaborated with the Caucus for presentations on Capitol Hill as well as the annual SIA GovSummit, a conference focused on connecting government, security and technology leaders.
The Alliance has launched a national conversation about the issue of school safety, engaging education, industry, public safety, law enforcement, corporate and community leaders to work together to address it through research, pilot programs, the promotion of best practices, and the raising of funds. Among other valuable resources, the Alliance website provides a state-by-state analysis of policy and funding addressing school security improvements, a listing of available assessment tools, and tracking of state and federal legislation related to school security.
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 "ABC's 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.
Developed by SIA member companies, the Campus Security Coalition provides news and trends on security and safety, as well as information about grants to schools offered by the Coalition.