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Symposium at VCU to explore latest trends, research in school safety
Keynote speaker Kenneth Trump

Keynote speaker Kenneth Trump

A symposium at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education will bring together leading experts, officials and educators to discuss the latest research and trends related to school safety.

The symposium, “Maintaining Safe, Secure and Prepared Schools in the 21st Century,” will be held Tuesday, May 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Commonwealth Ballroom in University Student Commons, 907 Floyd Ave.

The event, which is the inaugural Educational Law and Policy Symposium at VCU, is co-sponsored by the Department of Educational Leadership in the School of Education and the Virginia Department of Education, in partnership with the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals and the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.

Among the topics to be discussed will be the phenomenon of “robocall” school threats, how and when to connect with school communities on threat issues, whether social media is a help or hindrance, and the changing roles of school security and resource officers.

Cheryl Magill, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, said the symposium aims to explore the events that make schools less safe and secure, and to help educators prepare to develop the means to increase the probability that such events can be avoided, and to successfully manage such events should they occur.

“We are confident that this symposium will shed light on the actual and legal intricacies of school safety, security and preparedness issues in a way that reveals trends, affirms what schools are already doing well and provides suggestions for ways to strengthen procedures and policies already in place,” she said.

Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, a school safety consulting firm based in Cleveland, will deliver the keynote address. Trump is a frequent speaker on topics such as school security and policing, emergency planning, threat assessment and violence prevention, and provides litigation consulting and expert witness services, as well as counsel, to state and federal lawmakers on school safety policies and crisis response.