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In collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Education – Office of Safe and Supportive Schools, the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) presented the 2012 Safe Schools Institute (SSI) in Murfreesboro.
The Safe Schools Institute provided a forum for school system administrators across Tennessee to discuss best practices in the area of school safety. Experts in the fields of emergency preparedness, law enforcement, mental health and violence prevention addressed a wide range of school safety challenges including planning and response strategies for natural disasters, suicide attempts or deaths on school grounds, as well as violent or potentially violent incidents.
Dr. Erin Nelson, a nationally recognized consultant and trainer for Threat Assessment Group, Inc., served as keynote speaker for the 2012 conference. As a member of a small team of experts who were engaged to conduct a “psychological autopsy” following the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999, Dr. Nelson discussed the study’s findings in light of contemporary developments across the nation with a particular focus on implications for policy and practice in Tennessee schools. A Save Act breakfast was held for individuals designated responsible for ensuring district compliance with the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act. This provided an opportunity to facilitate communication across districts and share information about current school safety issues, policy and practice in Tennessee, as well as an update on legislative issues and end of year reporting guidelines. In addition, at this year’s institute, participants were given the opportunity to attend an intensive, half-day training on the topics of Bullying and Harassment Policy or Emergency Management 101.
More than 50 school districts were represented from across the state at the 2012 Safe Schools Institute. ■