“What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it.”
— Elizabeth Dole

“We owe action to American communities being torn apart by gun violence." Joe Biden, President of the United States of America (February 2023)

News - 28 Feb 2024

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Gun Violence in American Schools:
Improving school safety to protect the nation's youth and communities

Date of Event: Wednesday, March 6th 2024

Time of Event: 9:30 AM — 1:00 PM PST

Place of Event: Webinar

Key Speakers

James Densley, Department Chair of the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Metropolitan State University.
Katherine Schweit, Former FBI Special Agent Executive and Creator of the FBI's Active Shooter Program.
Dr Beth J. Sanborn, Patrol Officer at the Lower Gwynedd Police force; Executive Board for PASRO, the Pennsylvania Association of School Resource Officers; Instructor for NASRO, the National Association of School Resource Officers.
Jerald Monahan, Program Director for the Administration of Justice Studies at Yavapai College Justice Institute.
Darren K. Stocker, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Saint Joseph's University; Expert in international criminal justice policy and procedure.

Overview

Data shows that school shootings in the United States have hit a record high as of this year. Last year, Zachary Schermele, reporter for USA TODAY, said that “there were 188 shootings with casualties at public and private elementary schools during the 2021-22 school year, according to new federal data. About two-thirds of them caused injuries. 57 led to deaths.” (USA Today) With data taken from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), their crime and safety report showed that there are certain types of shootings that have increased at schools. The Gun Violence Archive highlights that most school shootings are done by males. “The report gives insight into the types of shooters that have wrought havoc on campuses over the past two decades. Of the 47 people responsible for active shooting incidents at elementary and secondary schools in the past two decades, 46 were male. The vast majority, 34, were 12 to 18 years old.” (USA Today; The Gun Violence Archive) Teenagers are particularly susceptible targets to the majority of shootings. The Gun Violence Archive reported on October 17, 2023 that between 2013 and 2023, evidence based research reveals that 3,190 teens (between the ages of 12 and 17) were injured in gun violence shootings, while 1,137 were killed. (The Gun Violence Archive) The Sandy Hook Promise, an organization that began after the Sandy Hook school shooting, claims that “gun violence and school shootings are a uniquely American epidemic... Each day, 12 children die from gun violence in America. Another 32 are shot and injured.” (The Sandy Hook Promise) Statistics also show how gun violence is causing children and young adults to have more mental health issues as a result. “Children exposed to violence, crime, and abuse are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol; suffer from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder; fail or have difficulties in school; and engage in criminal activity.” (Everytown Research & Policy)

On March 14, 2023 President Biden announced new measures that would help assuage gun violence and protect communities from the effects of gun violence. In these regulations, the Executive Order states that there would be an increase in background checks when purchasing firearms, use more “red flag” laws when conducting these background checks, and investigate how firearm manufacturers advertise their products to minors and younger audiences. Similarly before this Executive Order was enacted, “last year, President Biden signed into the law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence reduction legislation enacted in nearly 30 years.” (The White House) One of the gaps that remains here is keeping guns out of children’s hands. Many individual minors who partake in school shootings gain access to these weapons at home. Doctor Patrick Carter of Michigan Medicine states that “most school shooters obtain the firearm from home. And the number of guns within reach of high-school age teenagers has increased during the pandemic – highlighting the importance of locking firearms and keeping them unloaded in the home.” (Michigan Medicine)

Policy continues to address the rise in gun violence and build safer communities, and one of the means that policy aims to do this is by improving mental health services accessible to young kids. The United States Secret Service, in their 2019 memorandum entitled Protecting America’s Schools: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Targeted School Violence, revealed that “most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures… many attackers felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack.” (U.S. Secret Service) The Hechinger Report found that “in rural areas, there is often nobody who can provide mental health care for children. As many as 50% of youth nationally meet criteria for having a mental health disorder, including anxiety disorders and behavior disorders.” (The Hechinger Report) This gap is an issue that has risen as gun violence increases in school environments, and how to address this in various parts of the country continues to be a matter for policy to tackle.

This symposium seeks to address the symptoms that lead up to gun violence in school settings across the United States, and improve understanding of what current policy initiatives are being enforced and redacted to combat this issue.

Program

  • Discuss the phenomenon of increased violence on school grounds post Covid-19 and the effectiveness of policy responses by local authorities.
  • Analyze the role of behavioral health awareness and screening in preventing school violence.
  • Weigh the costs and benefits of school hardening measures being taken by individual states and school districts to promote school safety.
  • Identify ways to address concerns of discrimination, profiling, and equal access to education while allowing educators the flexibility to reroute disruptive students out of the general classroom and into targeted programs.
  • Assess the capacity of school behavioral health teams to deal with the influx of trauma post Covid-19 and evaluate the readiness of schools themselves to hire on additional staff in case of unmet demand.
  • Explore the role of communities and families in preventing school violence.
  • Analyse preventative measures that schools, parents and law enforcement organisations should consider.

 

Who Should Attend?

  • School Administrators
  • Teachers
  • Principals
  • School Psychologists
  • School Counselors
  • Department of Education Officials
  • Public Safety Officials
  • Law Enforcement
  • School Resource Officers
  • Local Authorities
  • Religious Leaders
  • Community Organizations
  • Psychologists
  • Child Psychologists
  • Child Development Specialists
  • City Councils
  • School Board Officials
  • Parent Teacher Associations
  • Parent Groups
  • Diversity and Inclusion Specialists
  • Advocacy Groups
  • Academics
  • Rural Community Groups
  • Rural Community Citizens
  • Crime and Disorder Reduction Specialist
  • Community Safety Teams
  • Community Rehabilitation Companies
  • Probation Officers
  • Neighborhood Policing Teams
  • Anti-Social Behavior Coordinators
  • Drug and Alcohol Action Teams
  • Police Service, Police Authorities and Fire Services
  • Firearm Units
  • Youth Teams
  • Youth and Outreach Workers
  • Youth Inclusion Teams
  • Community Cohesion and Development Organizations
  • Community Support Officers
  • Accident and Emergency Departments
  • Local Authority Officers and Law Enforcement
  • Central Government Departments and Agencies
  • Children and Youth Services
  • Domestic Violence Groups
  • Families Services Officers
  • Children Centers Specialists
  • Health Service Professionals
  • Victim Support Representatives
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers and Social Services Officers
  • Local Education Professionals
  • Teachers and Professors
  • Rural Neighborhood Watches
  • Criminal Justice Practitioners
  • Judges and Magistrates
  • Legal Professionals
  • Equality and Diversity Practitioners
  • Third Sector Practitioners
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Anti-Gun Violence Activists

Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities

If you’re interested in promoting your company, products and/or services at our events, please click here to enter your details and we will contact you directly. Alternatively, please call
+1 (310) 385 8750 for more information.

How to Book

+1 (310) 385 8750
bookings.at.publicpolicyexchange.com