COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster today announced that he will be hosting, in collaboration with the University of South Carolina’s Children’s Law Center and the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children, an open forum with representatives from the law enforcement community, educators, mental health experts, and experts in the field of school crisis prevention to discuss best practices for keeping South Carolina schools and children safe.
The forum will take place Thursday, March 1 from 2:00 to 5:00 at the University of South Carolina My Carolina Alumni Center.
"South Carolina schools and classrooms must be safe environments where learning, innovation, and greatness can be achieved without fear, violence, or distraction, and our educators must be provided the necessary training and resources to recognize and report people who demonstrate violent or unstable behavior," said Gov. Henry McMaster. "I look forward to taking a collaborative approach with representatives from all of the necessary groups and interested parties to develop best practices and procedures to ensure the safety of our young people."
In his Executive Budget FY 2018-19, Governor McMaster proposed a $5 million pilot program that would begin the process of fulfilling his stated goal of having a certified law enforcement officer in every school in South Carolina, all day, every day. Additionally, in the Executive Budget, the governor fully funded the Department of Mental Health’s request of $250,000 for its school-based services.
Speakers at the governor’s forum will include Governor McMaster, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, Department of Mental Health Director John Magill and Dr. Melissa Reeves of Winthrop University, a nationally-renowned school crisis prevention expert.
Schedule of Events:
2:00 – 2:15: Governor McMaster Welcome
2:15 – 2:45: Educators Panel
3:00 -- 3:30: Law Enforcement Panel
3:45 – 4:15: Mental Health/Student Services Panel
4:30 – 5:00: Workshop
WHO: Gov. Henry McMaster, Superintendent Molly Spearman, SLED Chief Mark Keel, DMH Director John Magill, Dr. Melissa Reeves
WHAT: “Pathways to Protection: A Roadmap for Student Safety in South Carolina”
WHEN: Thursday, March 1 at 2:00 PM
WHERE: University of South Carolina My Carolina Alumni Center, 900 Senate Street, Columbia, S.C.