DuBOIS — DuBois Area School District, recently named by niche.com as one of the safest schools in the state, prepared for the upcoming school year with an emphasis on school safety.

As a critical part of these efforts, Superintendent of Schools Luke Lansberry invited guest speaker, Michael Dorn, to address district administrators, faculty, staff, county employees and local law enforcement with the DASD, DuBois Central Catholic Curwensville, Brockway and Brookville Area School Districts.

Dorn, who is currently the executive director of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit campus safety organization, has been a full-time campus safety practitioner for most of the past 35 years and served as a full-time public safety official for 25 years. He has authored and co-authored 27 books on school safety and emergency preparedness including, School/Law Enforcement Partnerships: A Guide to Police Work in Schools, Weakfish – Bullying Through the Eyes of a Child and is currently co-authoring a 600-page university textbook for Cognella – Extreme Violence – Preventing and Preparing for Active Shooter, Active Killer, Terrorism and Hate Crimes which is due for publication in 2018.

The internationally sought-after safety expert has worked with a wide array of public, charter, faith-based, military, international and independent schools. He has also worked with state and federal departments of education, homeland security, law enforcement, public health and emergency management organizations on over 100 major school safety initiatives. According to Safe Havens International, Dorn is considered a “neutral, accurate and qualified expert by reputable media organizations”, with appearances on 20/20, NPR, CNN, FOX, Hannity, Al Jazeera America, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and ABC World News Tonight.

Lansberry said Dorn’s message was well-received and that he plans to follow up with his faculty and staff to ensure that the district’s safety policies and procedures reflect the insight provided.

“The safety of our students will always be our number one priority,” Lansberry said. “It’s important to me to seek out opportunities like this to bring in experts of this caliber so that we are best prepared to meet today’s challenges in our schools.”

He added that the coordination with other local district’s was a key part of the event.

“The information that Mr. Dorn had to share is pertinent to concerns that all of us have,” Lansberry said. “I’m grateful for the collaboration of the local schools, the local law enforcement, and other community stakeholders to make this event happen. It really does take the whole community coming together in this way to keep our students safe.”

DuBois Area High School Principal, Brian Weible, discussed how Dorn’s presentation will help frame the 2018-2019 school year. “I’ve been incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our school police officers and our staff in maintaining a priority on school safety,” he said. “I believe the message of the guest speaker will help us refine and improve our measures.”

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