School Safety

Lessons learned from tragedies shared with local district leaders

Southern Westchester BOCES' Center for Professional Development and Curriculum Support hosted the seminar, “School Safety: Lessons Learned from Recent Tragedies," Thursday, March 15, at our Harrison campus.

"One of the things that we glean from these tragic events is that there’s a lesson learned each and every time. And if we can put into play the lessons learned in our school buildings to become safer, that’s critically important," said safety and security expert, Lt. John LaPlaca (ret.), founder and CEO of Altaris Consulting Group.

LaPlaca provided expert analysis of past school shootings, including those at Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn. LaPlaca addressed some 30 SWBOCES and component district educators. 

Brandon Cruz, the PD Center's Supervisor of School Safety and Facilities, arranged the seminar as a service to our component districts.

The topic, unfortunately, is a timely one, LaPlaca acknowledged. He covered topics from analysis of the law enforcement and media response to the Parkland shooting to the specifics of emergency procedures and practices in place now in local districts. 

The collaborative setting Southern Westchester BOCES provides is conducive to problem-solving and information sharing, he said. 

"While we consult on a variety of things from our expertise, some of the best solutions come from the schools themselves,"  LaPlaca said. "And the ability to be able to work with multiple schools and share that as we work with them is invaluable. "