We’re excited to officially launch the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) at ISC West on April 16. PASS is a volunteer alliance among the Security Industry Association (SIA), NSCA, and other industry professionals.
PASS recognized that there were no concise points of reference for administrators, law enforcement, or security professionals to follow. Many recommendations focused on the response to violence. Other than anti-bullying campaigns, which are important and beneficial, there is little available information regarding prevention strategies. So, in the summer of 2014, the PASS K-12 team met in Atlanta with a singular focus: to create guidelines with a tiered approach to securing schools. These guidelines can be followed by school administrators, school boards, public safety officials, and security professionals.
Schools budgets are tight; funding is difficult to pull together to protect against security threats that, in reality, are statistically a very low probability. Schools take security seriously, but money used to secure a school is money taken away from budgets needed to educate students. The pool of funds is small (and getting smaller). And when a school system does make an investment in security, it is often spent on the wrong things.
Given these challenges, many choose to simply ignore the problem. PASS K-12 realizes that not every school system has the financial resources to invest in security enhancements, but they face daily pressures to ensure protection. The PASS K-12 guide can provide administrators with a way to measure compliance with industry standards.
The guidelines focus on core security principles that include defining threats, mitigating threats, measuring results, and adjusting as necessary. The goals of PASS are to:
- Define threats common to schools at each educational level
- Make recommendations regarding parental and community involvement
- Detail a layered approach to security that combats common threats while also mitigating the risks related to active shooters
- Provide information for school administrators, resource officers, and school IT staff on technology-focused layers (video surveillance, duress alarms, electronic access control)
- Provide scalable/tiered measures (adjustments to operations/procedures, mechanical locks, door chimes, signage, staff training, community involvement, student involvement, etc.) that administrators can implement proportional to available resources and local risk levels
The PASS K-12 guidelines will be released at ISC West on April 16 at 9:15am in Room 310 of the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas. We hope to see you there!