September 19, 2014  

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Mississippi Leads Nation in Interscholastic Athletics Risk Management Training

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Two years ago, the leadership at the Mississippi High School Association (MHSAA) took the lead to enhance risk management for their interscholastic athletic programs and after-school activities. Several school districts in Mississippi were involved in state-wide pilots to identify security areas for improvement. 

These critical findings provided a platform for The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA), to develop a national risk management training curriculum and assessment for interscholastic athletics and after-school programs. The goal of the training is to build safer, more secure, and resilient high school interscholastic athletics and after-school activities programs across the country.

“The safety of our students, spectators and staff are paramount at MHSSA activities and events,” said MHSSA Executive Director Don Hinton. “By taking the leadership role in risk management for our member schools, the MHSSA shall be at the forefront to promote positive educational experiences in safe, wholesome environments.”

In partnership with the NFHS, NIAAA, and ASSA ABLOY the risk management training will be piloted at school districts in Mississippi, Connecticut and Indiana. The first of these trainings will take place in Clinton, Mississippi on March 18th and 19th.

“We are very proud to support NCS4 and its affiliates as they develop and present best practices for expanding safety and security platforms and procedures that address the different challenges associated with after school activities,” said Dave Sylvester, President, ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions. “Many studies, investments and continuous training activities have focused on security and safety during daily school operations. This risk management training on afterschool athletics and other extracurricular activities is a critical element of the total environment.”

K-12 security experts from ASSA ABLOY will be on hand at the training sessions to demonstrate how doorways contribute to a safe and secure school environment. Participants will be instructed in how to identify areas that require controlled access along with strategies for implementing a physical security plan that protects building occupants during after school events. A vehicle from the ASSA ABLOY Innovation Fleet will also be on hand to provide a detailed look at the latest doorway security technologies.

The target audience for the program includes superintendents, high school principals, athletic directors, and school resource officers. The outcomes of the program will include plans and procedures specific to respective school districts’ sports and event venues. The nation-wide program is scheduled to launch in Summer 2014.

NCS4 has long supported the advancement of sport safety and security through training, professional development, academic programs, and research. For more information about NCS4 and training opportunities, visit http://www.ncs4.com/.