The last 40 years of my life have helped shape my perspective on security, emergency preparedness and the nuances of threat assessment.  The last 4 years have shown me what life is all about.  But it is over the last 36 days that I have discovered what is most precious in life.

All of these are now coming together to shape my perspective on the crucial importance of Act #20.  I also believe this Act is supported by the President’s plan to protect our children which the White House released on January 16th – 11 days after we highlighted the importance of these disciplines in Act #5.  In the President’s plan to making schools safer, he noted, “We need to make our schools safer, not only by enhancing their physical security and making sure they are prepared to respond to emergencies like a mass shooting, but also by creating safer and more nurturing school climates that help prevent school violence.” We are hopeful.  For the first time in years we will see support and funds materialize to actually make schools safer.  Our goal to advance national guidelines may very well have some momentum. So, as Act #20, we commit to the sixth goal we intend to achieve in 2013: leading the effort to advance – and, in some cases, create – the following:

  • National Guidelines for School Security: While some standards and guidelines exist for school security, there is no single, fully comprehensive national guideline yet in place that has been carefully authored, vetted, and certified by the leading associations of experts and specialists in the many disciplines that contribute to school safety.
  • National Guidelines for School Threat Assessment Programs:  The same holds true for threat assessment for schools and campuses – a domain which, in so many respects, isn’t even fully understood by most security professionals in this country.    
  • National Guidelines for Social Media Monitoring to Protect our Students and Schools:  The third area in which national guidelines are sorely needed is in social media monitoring best practices – and how to engage these as a vital frontline of defense.