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We write articles mainly about visitor management, which helps you to know who is (or has been) in your facility. It is just part of an organization’s physical security processes that protect people and property within and around a building or campus.

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Connecticut General Assembly Session on School Violence

by Ron Coleman

What:  Connecticut General Assembly Session on School Violence
When: 1/25/13
Where: State Legislative Office

This event was an informational hearing on gun violence and children’s safety.  It included reports to state legislators from…

  • CT Association of Public School Supt.
  • CT Association of Board of Education
  • CT Association of Schools
  • CT Association of School Business Officials
  • The State Dept of Education. 

In addition, several service groups presented their points of view.  They included…

  • CT Police Chiefs Association
  • CT Fire Chiefs Association
  • CT Higher Education Board of Regents
  • CT Education Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • CT Association of School Personnel Administators
  • CT Association of School Psychologists 

The overall theme and discussions were around how to address school violence in a sustained and affordable manner and without changing the education culture and environment.  Schools are re-evaluating their existing emergency management plans and making adjustments based on the Sandy Hook tragedy.  They are also seeking out security consultants to assist in evaluating policies and procedures but would like state assistance to identify vetted companies. 

Several speakers spoke to the need to identify individuals with mental health issues and to communicate those issues to the proper resource for help (counselors, therapists and psychologists).  The need for better mental health solutions and funding was highlighted as the best preventative solution to school violence and gun violence.

Presenters were in favor of increasing identification badges for everyone in the school to make it easy to spot individuals attempting to circumvent security and endanger children's safety.  They included teachers, visitors, contractors and substitute teachers.  First responders believe this would also assist in emergency situations where having accurate identification is critical.

Also highlighted was the need for School Resource Officers. In Connecticut, SROs are used in many middle and high schools, but almost never in elementary schools.  The panelists encouraged legislators to help more schools fund SROs as an effective security enhancement against school violence.  They were not in favor of arming teachers as a solution.

Finally, presenters indicated the need for simple reporting of security measures that record evacuation drills and security measures to ensure access to state and federal funding.

 

Posted on 2/6/2013