New Orleans, La. — To help break the cycle of tragedy that has claimed young lives from Columbine to Virginia Tech and make day-to-day school life safer for millions of U.S. youngsters, 1,000+ youth experts, school officials, law enforcement specialists and government officials will be gathering in a groundbreaking meeting, ?Safeguarding Our Schools,? at the 2007 Educational Security Congress to be held at the Morial Convention Centre in New Orleans on December 3rd and 4th. The meeting will unite the top minds in school safety and prevention for two days of presentations, think tank sessions, workshops and panel discussions.

Working hand in hand with government, teachers, police and the RAND Corporation, the 2007 Educational Security Congress will be exploring the safety issues in our schools today. Experts in psychological behavior such as Dr. Peter Langman, a specialist in school shooting prevention and director of psychology for the 125-year-old national children?s crisis charity KidsPeace, will explain how to identify potential risks before they become tragedies. The panels will discuss prevention tools such as TeenCentral.Net that have actually averted school shootings, as well as technologies that can help in the event that a crisis does occur, along with preparedness and response challenges, and lessons learned to date. The Educational Security Congress will feature such speakers as:

  • J. Robert Flores, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Peter Langman PhD, Dir. of Psychology, KidsPeace, the National Center for Kids Overcoming Crisis
  • Sue Mencer, Policy Director at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
  • Steven J. Healy, Director of Public Safety at Princeton University and Immediate Past President, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)
  • Marisa R. Randazzo PhD, President of Threat Assessment Resources International
  • Dr. David J Schonfeld, Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
  • Dave Thomas, Executive Director, Colorado District Attorneys? Council

    The aim of this event is to provoke change by seeking to uncover effective ways for the academic and law enforcement worlds to work together to make schools a safe place to learn. As communication will be key in our ability to reach our goal, an online forum will be added to the website following the event for people to ask questions and give advice.

    A portion of the event?s revenue will help the nonprofit RAND Corporation conduct a study about improving school safety that will make recommendations to guide new policies and procedures. ?Numerous proposals are made in reaction to school tragedies and we hope to put RAND?s expertise in education and safety to the task of identifying practical preventive measures,? said Jack Riley, associate director of the RAND Infrastructure, Safety and Environment program. RAND also will seek additional funding for the project.

    ?We cannot prevent every tragedy,? says KidsPeace President & CEO Dr. C.T. O?Donnell II. ?But we must do all we can to provide schools, school officials, and youngsters with knowledge and tools that will help make our nation?s schools safer. By bringing together the top minds devoted to the well-being, health, and safety of America?s schoolchildren, this conference will not only safeguard lives, but help restore an environment where kids can concentrate on the important work–and natural childhood joy–of learning.?

    KidsPeace is a 125-year-old national children?s charity dedicated to giving help, hope and healing to kids facing crises including traumas, neglect, depression, and the pressures of modern life. Founded in 1882 in Bethlehem, Pa., KidsPeace helps 10,000 children at 50+ centers nationally and has helped millions more through public education and outreach following tragedies such as school shootings, Hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 terror attacks. Supported by VIP leaders including its national spokesperson and founder of the Memory Foundation Leeza Gibbons, Harvard?s famed Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Brown University?s Dr. Lewis Lipsitt, and child safety and self-esteem icon RETRO BILL, KidsPeace was named ?The Outstanding Organization? of its kind in the country by the AAPSC and was called ?a prototype of what we need for all children everywhere? by the late, nationally renowned child and family expert, Dr. Lee Salk.

    2007 Educational Security Congress: Safeguarding Our Schools (SOS) will be taking place December 3rd and 4th, 2007 in New Orleans. Working hand in hand with government, teachers, police and the RAND Corporation, the Educational Security Congress will be exploring the safety issues in our schools today. Recent events have highlighted that our schools are at risk of extreme violence. We will look at the psychological issues, the technologies and tools available, preparedness and response and the lessons learned to date. This event will unite 1000+ people from several areas including schools and law enforcement for 2 days of keynote presentations, think tank sessions, workshops and panel discussions. The event is not limited just to those in attendance; the messages and topics will extend to a much wider audience: the entire event will be web cast and made available to those unable to physically attend. A percentage of the proceeds of this event will be donated to the RAND Corporation in order to help fund a 2-year study into the prevention of violence in our schools.

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