University of Louisville Magazine

SUM 2018

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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23 SUMMER 2018 Searching for solutions: UofL offers school security session C olumbine, Newtown, Parkland, Marshall County. The aftermath of deadly school shootings in Kentucky and across the nation leaves parents, policymakers and the public wondering how to effectively prevent them in the future and ensure student safety. What will work — active shooter training, metal detectors, school resource officers? The College of Arts & Sciences offered a public school security symposium April 19 leading up to the planned national demonstrations April 20 on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings that left 15 dead. The symposium, "The Science of School Security: Research on the Prevention of and Response to School Violence and School Shootings," included research presentations and a question-and-answer session afterward. "Every time a school shooting happens, the public discussions that follow are always the same, but scientific research about school security is almost never mentioned," said Ryan Schroeder, the sociology department chair who organized the symposium. "The solutions to school violence that are debated following a school shooting are usually based on strong emotions and/or political ide- ology, but actual research on school security can provide guidance for policymakers and school administra- tors to develop better, more effective security strategies." David James, Louisville Metro Council president, and several repre- sentatives from police departments and public schools joined professors at the sessions. Discussion focused on research into the effectiveness and draw- backs of specific school security measures, including school resource officers, metal detectors, increased surveillance, student searches and punishment. Speakers also talked about actions schools should take after active shooting incidents where school security measures fail. Benjamin Fisher, Uof L criminal justice assistant professor, joined panelists Thomas Mowen, sociology assistant professor, Bowling Green State University; and Cheryl Jonson, criminal justice assistant professor, Xavier University. Fisher's research delves into the varying roles and impact of resource officers, the school-based sworn law enforcement officers tasked with crime prevention and school safety. More than security guards, the full- or part-time school resource officers also may serve as mentors, role models and educators who lead presentations on issues such as substance abuse, violence prevention, bullying or the consequences of behavior, depending on the school system. It's a fairly young area of study, which is why the research is import- ant. "Our set of best practices is very limited at this point," Fisher said. He and colleagues, both at Uof L and other universities, receive funding through the National Institute of Justice for their work. Fisher PASSPORT TRAVELS TO WEST LOUISVILLE UofL a partner in Passport activities In what's being hailed as a key build- ing block toward the revitalization of West Louisville, Passport Health Plan broke ground in March on its $100 million headquarters building and health and well-being campus at 18th and Broadway, on the site of the old Philip Morris cigarette plant. Founded in 1997 by a group of health care providers including University of Louisville physicians, Passport is a nonprofit health plan administering Kentucky Medicaid benefits. Uof L still is an active part- ner with Passport and plans to house the new Passport campus satellites of the Office of Community Engagement (which oversees the Signature Partnership) and the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. "We look forward to continuing our longstanding collaboration with the University of Louisville's Signature Partnership to improve health and economic stability in West Louisville and throughout the Commonwealth," said Mark Carter, CEO of Passport. The Signature Partnership is a university effort to improve the education, health, wellness, and social and economic status of indi- viduals and families who live in West Louisville. Passport's new headquarters is scheduled to open in Spring 2020 with more than 500 employees working in the building.

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