Virginia Tech shooting victim to keynote school policing conference

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HOOVER, Ala., April 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Virginia Tech shooting survivor who appeared on NBC's "Dateline" April 20 will provide one of five keynote addresses at the annual national conference of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). NASRO's 24th annual School Safety Conference takes place July 13 to July 18 in La Quinta, Calif. (near Palm Springs). Keynote speakers include:

  • Kristina Anderson, who was a sophomore at Virginia Tech in 2007 and one of 24 people injured during the mass shootings on campus. She later launched the Koshka Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving campus safety, educating students and building a comprehensive network of survivors. Anderson works to raise awareness on the importance of school safety and violence prevention by sharing her significant encounter with gun violence, as well as working and meeting others affected by irrational acts of aggression.
  • Michele Gay, mother of Josephine Grace Gay, a 7-year-old girl who died in the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. A former teacher, Gay is now one of the founders of Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative. Gay is an advocate for improved school security and safety. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Towson University and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from McDaniel College. Gay is dedicated to honoring Josephine in her work to make schools in our country safer and more secure.
  • Richard Lavoie, an educator, motivational speaker, author and an acclaimed advocate for children with learning disabilities and special needs. Most parents and professionals know Lavoie through his video "How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop." This award-winning film has brought Lavoie's sensitive and compelling message to countless thousands throughout the world. Lavoie will present "School Resource Officers Guide to Special Education".
  • Bernie James, J.D., a law professor at Pepperdine University and a contributing editor to the NASRO Journal of School Safety. He specializes in civil rights, constitutional law and education law, and is author of the textbook "Education Policy and the Law: Cases and Commentary" and numerous articles on law, education, and religion. He lectures in the U.S. and Canada on constitutional issues, and he serves as a commentator for national and local news media regarding U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
  • Dr. Stephen R. Sroka, an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, author, teacher and educational consultant. Sroka will present "The Power of One: The New Rx for School Safety and SROs: Relationships." This is a high-energy, motivational presentation that integrates cutting-edge research, humor and inspiring real-life stories to facilitate learning about the whole person and the mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical health needs and their relationship to academic and life success.

Last year, 800 people attended the annual NASRO conference, including school resource officers and other law enforcement officers, as well as school security and safety officials, board members, administrators and others interested in school safety. The association said it expects as many as 1,000 to attend this year.

The conference offers attendees an opportunity to earn 32 hours of training; visit an exhibit hall with the latest in products, technology and innovations; complete NASRO training courses on site at no additional charge; and interact with SROs, school administrators, sheriffs and chiefs of police from throughout the country and world. Available training includes NASRO's Basic SRO Course, ideal for the many law enforcement officers who are newly assigned to work in schools and its SRO Active Shooter Response course, which prepares any law enforcement officer to respond to an active shooter situation in any public place.

More information about the conference, including a complete agenda and online registration, is available at


NASRO is a not-for-profit organization for school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators and school security/safety professionals working as partners to protect students, school faculty and staff, and the schools they attend. NASRO is located in Hoover, Ala., and was established in 1991. For more information, visit

Journalists: Contact Jani Spede for full-access press credentials for the conference.

CONTACT: Jani Spede Jani Spede Public Relations (866) 923-9980 ext. 1

Source:National Association of School Resource Officers, Inc.