Feds fail after Sandy Hook; Security expert says restore cuts, add school safety academies
School security expert says federal leaders failed to provide meaningful steps to improve school security after Sandy Hook
Trump calls for restoring cut federal programs, new state school safety academies
[CLEVELAND] Elected officials have failed to provide meaningful legislation, funding, and resources to help school administrators better secure their schools and prepare for mass shootings, according to a national school security expert who is calling upon Congress and the Obama Administration to restore eliminated federal programs for school security, emergency preparedness, and violence prevention.
“Special interest groups and politicians have pushed their political issues such as gun control and gun rights under the guise of school safety. Congress and the Administration have been tone deaf to educators’ need for restored federal programs that were eliminated for school security and emergency preparedness. It is a national embarrassment and disservice to students, teachers, and school staff across the country,” said Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services.
Trump identified six major school safety programs eliminated by Congress and the Administration over the past four years including Department of Education grants for school emergency planning, support to schools like Sandy Hook Elementary School that experienced mass shootings, and safe and drug free school violence prevention funding. The Department of Justice failed to fund the Secure Our Schools security equipment grant program in 2012 and has done nothing to support the COPS in Schools Program, according to Trump. The Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice Departments also stopped funding school mental health programs under the Safe Schools, Healthy Students grant program, Trump said.
For details on eliminated federal school safety programs, see Trump’s blog at www.schoolsecurityblog.com/2012/12/obama-congress-eliminated-critical-school-safety-funding-prior-to-sandy-hook-shooting/
Trump, who testified three times in 2007 and 2009 to Congress on strengthening federal school safety policy and funding, called upon President Obama and Congress to immediately restore and expand these eliminated grants.
Trump also said Congress should jointly fund state school safety specialist academies modeled after the Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy where each school district in Indiana is required by law to have a designated school safety specialist who receives basic training and annual advanced training to take back to their local school districts. The program was created by Indiana state law after the Columbine shootings and has trained thousands of educators and safety officials for more than 12 years with an unchanged annual state budget of $750,000.
“If the State of Indiana can operate a successful safety specialist academy that reaches into every school district in the state, including many charter and private schools, and does so without expanding its budget for more than a decade, why can’t this become a national model for every state in the nation?,” Trump asked.
Kenneth S. Trump, M.P.A., is the President of National School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based national firm specializing in school security and emergency preparedness training and consulting. Ken served as an officer, investigator, and youth gang unit supervisor for the Cleveland City Schools’ safety division, and as a suburban Cleveland school security director and assistant gang task force director. He has authored three books and more than 80 articles on school security and crisis issues.
As one of the leading U.S. school safety experts, Ken has 25 years experience in the school safety profession and has worked with school and public safety officials from all 50 states. Ken is a four-time invited Congressional witness testifying on school safety and emergency preparedness issues, and testified on the role of the federal government in bullying at a May 2011 hearing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
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