School Safety Resolution 2021-09
WHEREAS the National Sheriffs’ Association acknowledges School Safety as a priority in our nation’s counties, parishes, cities, etc. and acknowledges that America’s schools are a critical infrastructure and key assets to our communities; and
WHEREAS enhancing the physical security of school facilities and improving incident response are priorities while hardening (layered security) and making each classroom and our schools a protected space; and
WHEREAS efforts to priorities and enhance immediate notifications directly to emergency public service access points (E911); and school emergency systems through interoperable video, voice and data communications among schools, first responders and other vested stakeholders; and
WHEREAS by implementing these technologies, students are better protected in the event of an active shooter event; and law enforcement response can be greatly enhanced to mitigate serious bodily injuries and loss of life; and
WHEREAS the National Sheriffs’ Association recognizes intervention and prevention as critical components to enhancing school safety, including the following recommendations as recommended practice toward the prevention and mitigation of school violence:
- Protective Measures - Provide training for all faculty and staff in the recognition of potential violence indicators, situational awareness, preoperational surveillance, anomalies, baselines, and other protective measures to prevent, recognize, and respond to threats of violencei.
- Behavioral Assessment - Introduce a select interdisciplinary behavioral assessment team tasked with the assessment and management of internal and observable concerning behaviorii.
- Sustainable Intervention – Provide training for all faculty and staff in a manageable and deliberate process to facilitate appropriate and effective intervention of current and emerging threats pertaining to individual(s) that are identified and make appropriate referrals.
- Timely Detection - Provide training to all faculty and staff in the timely detection of specific pre-attack behaviors and the procedures for managing those behaviorsiii; and
WHEREAS this strategy calls for an increase in the number of highly trained School Resource Officers with a committed purpose to law enforcement and security; and
WHEREAS the National Sheriffs’ Association believes all school threats and crimes committed on school property should be shared information with all stakeholders1; and the National Sheriffs’ Association strongly supports the national school safety guidelines and standards that follow recommended practices, as recommended by America’s sheriffs; and the National Sheriffs’ Association feels national school safety guidelines will encourage America’s schools to make school safety a more uniform system and priority in their communities to include a School Safety Recognition Initiative (SSRI), which is a voluntary self-assessment process designed for schools to gain a certificate of recognition from national law enforcement school safety stakeholders for their efforts in prioritizing, implementing and maintaining effective school safety, security and emergency preparedness:
- To strengthen relationships between law enforcement school safety stakeholders, their federal partners and school leadership.
- To engage collaborative agencies in sustainment and improvement of effective school safety preparedness.
- To proliferate proactive and functional community interoperability2.
- To incentivize school leadership to re-engage school safety as a priority in the wake of allocating majority resources to address the many challenges of the COVID pandemic.
An online application consisting of a brief set of self-assessment categories is made available to any United States school organization. Once submitted, the information is then reviewed and evaluated. Selected school organizations receive a “Certificate of Recognition” including the logos of all collaborators; and
WHEREAS the National Sheriffs’ Association also recognizes all communities have different needs in securing their schools;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Sheriffs’ Association establishes that our schools are a part of our critical infrastructure and should be protected as well as government buildings, thereby securing our most important assets which are “Our Children”.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Sheriffs’ Association will create National School Safety Guidelines following recommended practices, as recommended by America’s Sheriffs, in creating a layered school safety system that prioritize making each classroom and each school a protected space.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Sheriffs’ Association urges Congress, State Legislatures and County Governments to appropriate funding necessary to allow America’s communities to enhance safer schools and follow recommended practices as recommended by the National Sheriffs’ Association.
Approved by the Board of Directors of the National Sheriffs’ Association on June 22, 2021, at NSA’s Annual Conference, Phoenix, Arizona. This resolution to remain in effect until June 22, 2025, in accordance with Article XIII, Section 6 of the Constitution and Bylaws of the National Sheriffs’ Association.
Amended --- June 21, 2021