Governors of Virginia, Maryland announce conference on preventing, recovering from school crisis
The Briefings: Resiliency and Recovery After a School Crisis, will be held on April 11 at the Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus. “The Briefings” provides a cross-disciplinary opportunity to learn from colleagues who have experienced or averted a traumatic school or campus tragedy and hear their stories and lessons learned.
“The tragic events we have seen across the country remind us that we must be vigilant in preventing violence and protecting our students and staff in schools,” said Governor Northam. “Sharing information and learning from those who have survived and recovered from tragic events makes our communities more resilient and helps schools focus on their priority of preparing students for the future.”
Speakers include a survivor and first responder from the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, a Maryland high school principal who experienced a school shooting on the first day of school in 2013, and finally, a school leader and a law enforcement officer who helped prevent a planned shooting at high school.
“In the wake of the horrific shooting at Great Mills High School, and tragedies in Parkland, Florida and numerous other states, citizens in our region and across the country want to know what government at all levels is doing to ensure safety in our schools,” said Governor Hogan of Maryland. “Classrooms should never be a place of fear for our children. Our administration is pleased to be joining officials from Virginia for this important training event to promote effective communication and coordination to help to make our schools safer.”
“Collaboration and communication are vital to addressing the issues facing our schools,” remarked Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “School safety is not just the concern of one state, but the entire country. We must work together with our sister states to share information on best practices and resources.”
The presentations will highlight the importance of leadership, training and preparation, steps to create preventative solutions, and recovery plans. Participants will also learn about field-tested methods for advancing school safety, improving police response, and helping staff and students recover if the unthinkable occurs. Attendees will also receive up-to-date presentations on school safety initiatives and hear personal accounts from people who experienced school shootings.
Also addressing the conference will be Christopher Shank, Chief Legislative Officer for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and former Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention.
The event is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justices Services’ (DCJS) Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety and the Maryland Center for School Safety. Maryland and Virginia have partnered with Kristina Anderson, a Virginia Tech tragedy survivor who founded the Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools, and the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department.
Additional information is available on the DCJS website, at www.dcjs.virginia.gov/content/briefings-resiliency-and-recovery-after-school-crisis.