VCU Wilder School, Virginia secretary of public safety and homeland security to host school safety forum

vcuThe VCU Wilder School’s Center for Public Policy and the Virginia secretary of public safety and homeland security are sponsoring a forum on school safety on Monday, April 23, that will examine how officials can best assess, investigate and resolve potential threats as well as the evolving role of school resource officers.

“We want to have a conversation about school safety in the context of recent events and look at where we’ve been in Virginia, where we are and where we’re heading,” said Robyn McDougle, Ph.D., interim director of the Center for Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. “This is an important and timely topic as well as a pressing public policy issue.”

“The Forum on School Safety in the Commonwealth” will convene policymakers and experts from across Virginia in education and law enforcement. The Wilder School will share the results of its Summer 2017 Public Policy Poll, which gauged Virginians’ views of school safety in both public schools and state colleges and universities.

“Ensuring that our children have safe and secure environments to learn and grow is one of my No. 1 priorities as governor,” said Gov. Ralph Northam. “I want to thank Secretary Brian Moran and the Wilder School for bringing together experts in the field to engage in this important discussion.”

Moran, Virginia secretary of public safety and homeland security, will provide opening comments and moderate a panel about the roles and responsibilities of school resource officers.

“I am pleased to be co-hosting this school safety forum with the Wilder School,” Moran said. “Virginia is a national leader on school safety, and I am looking forward to hearing from our esteemed panelists on opportunities they see to further enhance the safety of our schools.”

Participating on Moran’s panel will be Del. Steven Landes of Augusta County, chairman of the House Education Committee; John Kimenhour, school resource officer in Chesterfield County; Holly Coy, deputy secretary of education; and William V. Pelfrey Jr., Ph.D., chair of the Wilder School’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program.

Also making presentations will be Donna Michaelis, manager of the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety.

The forum will take place at the Delta Hotels by Marriott, 555 E. Canal St., Richmond, from 1-4 p.m. Space is limited, and registration is required. To register, email srmcdani@vcu.edu or call (804) 827-0867 by April 20.

The Wilder School is hosting another event the morning of April 23 at the same venue. The 2018 Legislative Conference will mark 20 years of the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute’s service to Virginia and the legacy of its founder, William C. Bosher Jr., Ed.D., a highly regarded state and local educator who died in 2014.

Speakers will include Del. Steven Landes of Augusta County and Del. Lamont Bagby of Henrico County. The event also will feature education experts discussing trends over the past 20 years and what is ahead in the years to come. To register, call (804) 827-3290 or email cepi@vcu.edu.

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