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Physical Safety and Preparedness - Breakout Session, NIJ Virtual Conference on School Safety

On February 16-18, 2021, the National Institute of Justice hosted the Virtual Conference on School Safety: Bridging Research to Practice to Safeguard Our Schools. This video includes the following presentations: 

Findings and Lessons from the School Emergency Preparedness Study, Suyapa Silvia

The purpose of this study was to describe the state of preparedness for violent emergencies such as active shooter events, in K-12 school communities in the U.S. Findings will be summarized from each phase of the study, including: 1) a content analysis of State Department of Education websites to identify guidelines and recommendations provided by states; 2) a national web-based survey of school districts, to learn about strategies used by districts with different characteristics; and 3) school-level telephone interviews in 36 well-prepared schools, to learn about best practices in emergency preparedness. The presentation will conclude with lessons learned and recommendations for future research.

Perception Versus Reality - Physical Security at K-12 Schools in Arizona, Thomas Foley

In 2015 the Sandy Hook Commission Report recommended schools use an emergency response time approach to security design, which involves delaying an attacker long enough for police to arrive. Unfortunately, there is no information available to schools about how long certain physical security measures will delay an attacker. A research team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is currently conducting research designed to help schools adopt an emergency response time based approach to physical security design.

This presentation will give an overview of this research what the research team has learned during this on-going project.

Securing Schools? School Violence and Engagement with Security Measures in One Urban School District, Matthew Cuellar

This presentation examines the relationship between school security and school violence through two competing theoretical lenses: (a) opportunity theories of crime that suggest higher engagement with security should predict less school violence, and (b) a school criminalization perspective that suggests greater engagement with security should be unrelated to or even increase school violence. Findings highlight various associations between engagement with school security and non-serious violent crime and weapons-related crime. Further, it is suggested that this relationship is different for Hispanic and African-American students. Implications for practice, education, and research will be discussed.

Date Published: February 17, 2021