School security summit features dad who lost daughter in school -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

School security summit features dad who lost daughter in school shooting

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Protecting children in the midst of a school crisis was the focus of an East Texas summit, presented by a man who himself lost a child in a school gun incident.

"Some folks say you can't stop it, I say they're wrong. We have stopped it; we can stop it," says program speaker John-Michael Keyes.

45 East Texas school superintendents met at Region 8 in Pittsburg to consider the new school safety program called 'Standard Response Protocol'.

"Everybody does things differently and with this standard response protocol; it made a simple message where we didn't change what we've done, we just talk about what we've done, where there's no confusion," says Harts Bluff ISD superintendent Eddie Johnson.

Developed by Colorado native Keyes, it's a uniform strategic response program that can be used by all schools in partnership with law enforcement and the community. Keyes lost his daughter Emily in a school shooting back in 2006

"There isn't one simple answer to this giant puzzle called school safety. It's not a federal issue, it's a local issue. We talk about a time barrier and a locked classroom door is actually a very effective time barrier," Keyes says.

Through Keyes' foundation called "I Love You Guys," the last message Emily sent before her death, simple guidelines are set for a school crisis.

"You want to make sure that everybody is speaking the same language and I believe that's what the presentation brought today, that unifying language, that police officers can use school districts communities can use. It wasn't a political agenda today, it was how to keep our kids safe," says Texarkana ISD superintendent Paul Norton.

For Keyes, it's his daughter's legacy.

"Emily was absolutely a fireball. I bet you can remember the names of the two perpetrators and Columbine. Can you name two victims?" he asked.

Keyes' program has been implemented in over 5,000 schools across the country, including East Texas' Harts Bluff ISD in Mount Pleasant.

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