The National School Security Information Sharing System is intended to encourage information sharing among educational administrators, school security personnel and school resource officers. The NSSISS seeks to empower administrators to provide the most practical and sustainable security for their individual schools and districts. The exchange of relevant, applicable and trusted knowledge, policies and practices will facilitate more effective planning, fill gaps in preparation, enhance current procedures, and ultimately provide safer campuses across the country.
The National School Security Information Sharing System is the result of years of researching violent school incidents and recognizing the inevitable fact that these types of events will continue. Although the statistical chance of a major violent incident in any given school is small, the phenomena of preplanned, unprovoked attacks is indiscriminate and the consequences catastrophic. The damage inflicted by these incidents touches the entire community and endures for years. Because of this, preparation and drilling for violent school incidents is now mandatory nationwide.
The founders of the sharing system are police officers who were initially tasked with training fellow officers in how to respond to active shooter events on campuses. As the number of incidents increased, it became obvious to the founders that in many cases, the event was over before law enforcement even had a chance to intervene. The actions of teachers, students and administrators often played a more significant role in the ultimate consequences of the attack.
In 2002, the founders began contacting and interviewing educators and administrators where these incidents took place. The question was always the same, “what worked in your plans and what did not?” The answers were surprising, enlightening, tragic, but above all, they were insightful. The unfortunate experiences and firsthand knowledge challenged some of the accepted “best practices” that were being exercised by elementary and secondary schools. Small details and nuances in plans had enormous impacts on their overall effectiveness. Some plans failed while others succeeded, and all for a multitude of reasons that were not being relayed to other schools.
A few examples:
- It is actually safer to have teachers and students open the locked classroom door for law enforcement search-teams than it is to instruct them to never open the door.
- It is actually a good idea to have students text their parents during a lockdown rather than having them shut off their phones.
- Lockdowns are hardly ever announced until the incident is actually over, so why do schools practice it the other way around?
- Do your teachers have the ability to take attendance of the classroom to the left and right of their classroom, in addition to their own?
- Teachers communicate, interact and direct their students every day, so why does law enforcement automatically assume officers can do it more effectively during a chaotic incident? If teachers are asked to line up their own classes, they will instinctively put the students who need the most supervision closest to them.
The information sharing system is intended to allow educators, administrators and the individuals who protect our nation’s schools to securely post information, exchange ideas, ask questions, rate security products and services, and ultimately assist the stakeholders in making decisions that are best for their individual districts and schools.
The founders, Brian Lyman and Kevin Cherven, have nearly 50 combined years of private sector, law enforcement and military experience. They both possess advanced degrees in the field and have received numerous awards and accolades for their work in advancing law enforcement tactics and school security awareness.