Release Date: March 19, 2018
BUFFALO — Violence inside America’s schools — and the accompanying rise in concern over safety — take center stage in the University at Buffalo’s 15th annual Safe Schools Initiative Seminar Tuesday, March 20, at UB’s Center for the Arts.
Co-sponsored by UB (including the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention); the United States Secret Service, Buffalo Field Office; the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York; the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and new this year, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, the day-long conference brings in two nationally known spokespeople to discuss ways to prevent and recover from these school-based tragedies.
Utica National Insurance Group is the lead corporate sponsor of the seminar.
“We are so pleased to have two national school safety leaders present at this year’s seminar. Michele Gay and Mo Canady have diverse and complementary personal and professional experiences,” says Amanda Nickerson, director of UB’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention.
“Their collaborative approach will model how educators and law enforcement can work to address mental health issues proactively and help schools and communities recover after crises.”
What: “Collaborating to Address Safety & Mental Health Issues, and to Recover from Crisis.” The goal of the seminar is to help participants enhance collaboration, address mental health issues, de-escalate crises and learn lessons about response and recovery from school-based tragedies.
When: 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 20.
Where: Center for the Arts, UB’s North Campus. Here is a map: http://www.buffalo.edu/home/visiting-ub/CampusMaps/maps.html#CFA.
Press Briefing: Members of the media can interview guest speakers from noon to 12:30 p.m. in the atrium of the Center for the Arts.
Who: Keynote presenters are Michele Gay and Mo Canady. Gay is a mother, former teacher and founder of Safe and Sound Schools: A Sandy Hook Initiative. After losing her daughter, Josephine Grace, on Dec. 14, 2012, Gay chose to take action as an advocate for improved school security and safety in the nation’s schools.
Canady became executive director for the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) in 2011 after a 25-year career in law enforcement with the City of Hoover, Alabama police department. A law enforcement instructor since 1993, Canady became an instructor for NASRO in 2001, and a board member in 2005. He is past-president of the Alabama Association of School Resource Officers.
Newsworthy Topics: Seminars in the conference include: “Beyond Tragedy: Response and Recovery,” in which participants will identify critical needs and challenges of school communities during crises, based on Michele Gay’s personal perspective on the Sandy Hill school’s response and recovery efforts.
Also scheduled are presentations on collaboration between education and law enforcement; addressing mental health and safety with adolescents; developing age-appropriate educational and training activities to increase safety awareness for K-12 students and staff, and how to recognize signs of an individual in crisis and ways to de-escalate these situations.
Officials from the United States Secret Service, United States Attorney’s Office, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Erie County District Attorney’s Office will also be on hand to answer questions. Also attending and available for interviews are school personnel, including counselors, psychologists, school resource officers, teachers and administrators.
Organizers expect 1,400 participants to attend. The event is free and open to law enforcement and all school personnel who deal with school or building safety issues, but registration is required. Go to https://www.ubevents.org/event/safeschools2018 for complete seminar and registration details.
Contact: Media who wish to attend should contact Charles Anzalone (see contact information above), or come to the noon press briefing the day of the seminar.