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School Safety and Security Seminar

School safety expert endorses security measures

GrossmanLt. Col. Dave Grossman told a packed room of board members and administrators, and a guest contingent of local emergency responders, about some simple, inexpensive steps he believes will prevent school massacres.

Grossman, a leading author and trainer on school safety and security, suggested that installing a clear plastic laminate to windows on or near all school doors is a valuable security improvement to keep an unauthorized person from gaining fast building entry. He also called for having an armed security guard inside school buildings, and practicing school safety drills. Grossman further suggested children should not be exposed to violent video games and films that depict killing.

“Human beings have a natural resistance to killing other human beings. The military has found that it takes a great deal of training to overcome that natural resistance, but research shows that violent video games and movies can have much the same effect on young minds,” Grossman said.

Grossman, a psychologist and former U.S. Army Ranger, is author of the book, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.

His remarks concluded the “Preparation for School Safety” seminar on Friday, Nov. 17, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Other sessions were led by state officials and local school district experts and dealt with developing safety plans based on a new FEMA guide; and using off-site communication command centers, triage, and reunification processes in the wake of a crisis.

This was the second year in a row that IASB has hosted a School Safety and Security Seminar at the Joint Annual Conference. This educational programming was added in response to the critical challenges faced by schools worldwide in the area of providing and maintaining schools as safe and secure places.

In addition to the Friday morning Seminar, IASB offered eight related panel sessions covering the following topics: safety-related issues and targeted violence prevention, behavioral threat assessments, using social media to thwart violent attacks, crisis management/outside investigations, preparing for the unexpected crisis, creating a digital district-wide crisis plan, mitigating the factors that may make schools a “soft targets,” gaps in preparedness for facing current threats affecting schools, and best practices in school safety.


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