The Beginning of a Movement
- By Sydny Shepard
- April 01, 2018
I don’t have any kids of my own, but I
do have twin sisters that are 17 years
old. The school shootings that have
plagued campuses across the country
have become a topic of regular conversation
for me and my sisters.
They complain about how they can’t sit in
their cars during lunch anymore, how they
now have to permanently weigh down their
necks with a lanyard holding their student ID
and how class time is disrupted with lockdown,
bomb threat and active shooter drills.
But they understand why.
They understand that school administration
needs to know exactly where they are at
all times, so that they can quickly be marked
present in the event of a tragedy. They understand
that their student ID gets them into
secure wings of their campus while allowing
faculty to identify them as students and not
visitors or strangers to the campus.
They understand how important it is to pay
attention during the repetitive drills that
attempt to ingrain life-saving movements into
their bodies so that if the time ever comes,
they know exactly what to do.
At the time of this writing, the country
continues to mourn the deaths of students
and faculty at schools around the country
including the 17 killed and 12 injured in the
shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High
School in Parkland, Fla.
The shooting, which took place on Feb. 14,
was the eighteenth instance of gun violence
on or near a school in 2018 and followed similar
incidents at Marshall County High School
in Benton, Ky., where two students were
killed, and an incident in Italy, Texas, where a
student was shot in front of her classmates in
the cafeteria of the high school. The massacre
in Parkland, however, was the most deadly.
The shooting in Parkland has sparked campus
security debates across the country, with
the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas
leading the charge. These students, the same
age as my sisters, demand to be heard,
expressing their pain, anguish and complete
disappointment in their governing system by
passionately advocating for gun control, calling
for better implementation of background
checks, restrictions for those with mental illness
and raising the legal age to purchase a
firearm. All of this, so they can feel protected
in what should be one of the safest places on
It is up to us, as campus security and safety
professionals, to help these students feel like
they don’t need to advocate for their safety.
The ability to feel completely protected inside
an educational facility should not be a privilege,
but rather a right. It is with our help, our
products, our solutions and insights that we
might help to stop the next active shooter.
Campus security is personal to me. Not
only do I have two sisters in high school, I
have a brother in middle school and parents
that work as teachers in a North Texas school
district. I have made sure to do my part by
making this issue useful to campus security
professionals across the country, filling it with
articles about video surveillance, virtual training,
access control, cloud storage and even a Q
& A about arming teachers on campuses.
Also found in the pages of this magazine is
the agenda for our Campus Security & Life
Safety Summits, to be held this year in an
effort to help security professionals expand
their knowledge on the unique solutions
available to them and their campus.
It is my hope that the vital information
shared in Campus Security & Life Safety, along
with the creative solutions put forth by campus
security product manufacturers and the
voices of students and teachers impacted by
these tragic incidents, fuels a movement of
safety and security on campuses that we have
not seen before.
Student safety has always been a priority
on campuses, but it wasn’t until now that
administration and government officials saw
the holes in the system. With the adequate
amount of education and funding, we may be
able to let our students—including my family—
feel safe again.
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.