The National Center for Spectator Sport SafEty and Security
The University of Southern Mississippi
Introduction to the School Safety Initiative
The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is the world’s leading academic research institution for addressing sports safety and security risks. The NCS4 has partnered with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in an effort to keep students and others that participate in interscholastic athletics and after school activities safe during the period beyond the bell. More specifically, our mission is to coordinate with all public and private schools as well as local, state and federal stakeholder to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to interscholastic athletics and after-school safety and security programs.
The NCS4 interscholastic safety and security initiative will provide assessment tools for the development, or improvement of existing, emergency operations/action plans (EOPs/EAPs) for the period beyond the final bell when interscholastic athletics and after-school activities occur. This forgotten period of the day remains a weak link in the safety and security planning of our nation’s schools with little, and in some cases, no understanding of potential threats and importantly little being done to mitigate these risks. We are dedicated to helping provide guidance to help school districts procure the federal grant funding that is available to them in order to conduct these assessments. In addition to actively contributing to the assessment of interscholastic athletics and after-school activity safety and security the NCS4 seeks to disseminate knowledge to school faculty and staff as well as our nation’s first responders through our freely available DHS/FEMA funded course. Finally, the initiative seeks to conduct research that will help establish an evidence-base for continuous improvement in the development of interscholastic and after-school activities “best practices”.