Security Industry Association (SIA) Chair James Rothstein released a statement in response to the shooting massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers on Wednesday.
An 18-year-old gunman entered the school despite encountering an armed school security officer, then wounded two responding police officers and engaged in a standoff inside the building for more than an hour, according to state police officials.
Rothstein, addressing the association’s membership, states as an organization dedicated to making private and public places safer, SIA is devastated by the news of the violence that took place. He continues:
On behalf of SIA, I would like to extend our deepest condolences, concern and sympathy to the families who lost loved ones and to the community as it mourns this unthinkable tragedy. SIA is committed to promoting a safe learning environment for every student, which is why in 2014 we partnered with the National Systems Contractors Association to create the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) — a nonprofit that brings together expertise from the education, public safety and industry communities to develop and support a coordinated approach to making effective use of proven security practices specific to K-12 environments and informed decisions on security investments.
The PASS Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools are the most comprehensive information available on best practices specifically for securing K-12 school facilities, including elementary, middle and high schools. We encourage schools to leverage these free guidelines as they work to harden their facilities, control access and protect their students, faculty and staff. Additionally, SIA’s Guide to Resources for the Prevention and Mitigation of Active Shooter Incidents can help you prevent and prepare for attacks and survive an incident if it occurs.
Finally, we extend our appreciation to the many talented security professionals who are working diligently each day to enhance the safety and security of our schools and mitigate active shooter threats. We also challenge our industry and our nation as a whole to recommit efforts to ensure that our schools are protected and have access to the necessary security resources that are demanded today.
Chair, SIA Board of Directors
A memorial fund has been opened at First State Bank of Uvalde for the families of Robb Elementary. For more information on ways to donate, go here.