school security

NRA developing ‘best practices’ for school safety

by Jackie Kucinich, USA TODAY  |  published on February 23, 2013

Two months after launching a nationwide program to address school security, the National Rifle Association has begun to put together safety standards and risk assessment guidelines they say will help protect schools from future incidents of violence.

The National School Shield project will not be completed until April but Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican congressman and a Homeland Security undersecretary in the George W. Bush administration, said his team has already found several areas where safety standards would help make schools more secure.

Hutchinson said the risk assessment exercises and “best practices” the NRA is developing have been modeled after those developed by the Department of Homeland Security for use of public and private entities. Once completed the exercises would enable schools to access their risks based on their unique facilities and needs.

“After you look at all of those things and talk to a lot of people then you access what they are doing and what the gaps are in security and more should be done,” he said in an interview. “Every school has its unique characteristic…part of it is their unique community and part of it is school design and the threats that they have.”

The program, initially unveiled during a NRA press conference in the wake of the December school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary that left 20 children and 6 adults dead, was met with immediate criticism from those favoring more gun control.

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