The Fall 2019 issue of Context focuses on the provocation that Design is a Dirty Word.

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September 25, 2019
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AIA National

Tell Congress: School design is key to mitigating school violence!

By AIA National

School Safety
Since 9/11, trillions of dollars have been spent on upgrading public buildings and critical infrastructure to mitigate terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the government’s response to mass shootings in our schools. That’s why AIA launched its school safety initiative in August 2018. This national effort is meant to move the needle in favor of all three levels of government beginning a coordinated and comprehensive effort, like the one we have seen since 9/11, to ensure design is a central part of the solution to mitigate school shootings. In the near term, this means advocating for more public funding and informational resources for school officials to design safer schools to protect our teachers and children.

AIA is supporting the School Safety Clearinghouse Act of 2019 introduced on September 19. This federal legislation would provide state and local officials with unbiased information and best practices for making their schools safer through design.  Under the proposed bill, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would manage this federal repository of informational resources on school safety, with a special focus on physical security.

In addition, AIA is continuing its efforts to make architectural and design services available to schools through the Department of Justice’s STOP School Violence grant program. As part of this, the AIA is encouraging the U.S. Senate to support language that was already passed by the House (HR 3055), which increases the amount of available grant money from $100 million to a total of $125 million. The House bill also clarifies that STOP grants can fund requests from school districts for architectural and design services.

Want to help or get involved? AIA needs architects to email and tweet their Senators to support these new policies. Since you are a constituent and architect, your direct input will have a significant impact. In fact, AIA’s federal relations team will cite your message when they approach your senators.

Take action now and then ask your colleagues to visit this page and send a tweet or email message so they can make their voice heard too! There is strength-in-numbers, so please help spread the word and take action now!

To take action now, click here!

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