Each and every day the National School Safety Collaboratory (NSSC) hears about the problems in our schools. The stories come largely from open source media on the World Wide Web. These incidents represent the real unbridled truth of what is happening in our schools to our children and grandchildren around the United States.
Daily there are bus accidents and bomb threats. Weekly we report on sexual assaults and rapes. Some of these sex crimes are being perpetrated by the authority figures, i.e., teachers, who we trust to protect our children. There are stories of bullying and assault, sexting and cyber-bullying, and the list goes on and on. There have been fires set at schools and one at the home of a principal, all set by a student or students. Add to all these incidents the occurrence of school shootings, and you can see that we have a huge challenge on our hands.
We at the NSSC are working hard to find solutions to these problems but we need your help.
When you study a problem there seems to be some consistency as to what happens. If you are able to identify what occurred and how it occurred, you should be able determine what needs to be done to solve the problem. For example, several foodborne issues have occurred at schools that were caused by a parent bringing unpasteurized milk to school for an event or party. The countermeasure is to educate parents as to the dangers of unpasteurized milk, and to establish a school policy stating no unpasteurized milk is allowed at school events.
Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? But the reality is that you must first identify incidents of concern. Second, you need to understand them. Third, you need to share ideas on the best way to solve them. And, fourth you must develop the right set of countermeasures that schools can implement to prevent them.
At the NSSC we capture and analyze incidents at schools across the country. Then we catalog the data into a Meta Data Repository, and make the information retrievable. For each incident going into our Meta Data Repository on school safety technical experts determine the “what and how” of the incident. Finally, working with other emergency management professionals and by searching the relevant school safety literature the best countermeasure(s) on how to prevent the incident are determined. We call this predictive modelling. There is a large amount of math and algorithms thrown in as well, but we won’t bore you with those details.
Here is where you come in. Unfortunately, none of this is free. Our programmers need money to write code, our technical experts need to be paid to review incidents, and all the data needs to be housed on hardware to facilitate the sharing of useful information. To continue our efforts we need your help. If each one of our followers made a tax deductible donation of even a dollar we will be able to continue to deliver on the promise that we have made on our portal http://nationalschoolsafetycollaboratory.org/. That promise is “To provide a safe and conducive learning environments for our children.”
Please go to … and generously donate. All of the funds we receive go directly to the cause of improving school safety.