Prevention is the key to keeping our schools safe. When violence erupts, the signs are usually there ahead of time. Students and staff alike need a safe, effective way to report incidents or behaviors that concern them.

Therefore, the goal of any school should be prevention. But are schools “really” prepared and equipped to protect our children. When seconds count, schools must be ready with emergency response plans that are thorough, practiced and efficient. It is not enough for schools to establish internal policies and procedures. Collaboration with local law enforcement is essential. That’s why the Texas Attorney General recommends that all Texas schools conduct emergency response drills with law enforcement at least annually.

Following my keynote address at the Texas School Safety Conference in Corpus Christi, Texas, I was relieved to know that conveners of this amazing conference are committed to providing Texas schools with the information and tools they need to keep children safe. Children must have a safe and positive learning environment in order to receive the education they deserve, and this annual conference is a step in the right direction.