Takeaways from 2023 Glass & Glazing Advocacy Days
In the shadow of the recent mass shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, TN, school security was fresh on the minds of legislators during NGA’s Glass & Glazing Advocacy Days, March 27-28, in Washington, D.C.
NGA members met with over 30 different Congressional offices to discuss priority topics with representatives of 18 different states. In these meetings, NGA’s School Security policy priority was one of the topics that sparked great interest from the representatives, and NGA’s School Security one-pager provided important information on how legislators can improve the safety of schools simply with proper security glazing products that exist on the market today. This gave us the opportunity to encourage sponsorship of the Securing Our Students Act (HR 887 in the 118th Congress) which would allow schools to use funds for security windows and doors for high‐risk areas in schools. NGA also supports the implementation of the new ASTM standard, the Standard Test Method for Forced-Entry-Resistance of Fenestration Systems After Simulated Active Shooter Attack, which allows manufacturers to test and rate their products to ensure they meet protection requirements after sustaining an active shooting.
At the Covenant School, security footage showed the assailant entering the building at 10:12 am by shooting through the glass with ease, and not being stopped until 10:27am, leaving 15 minutes to roam the school freely. NGA members shared that if there was bullet-resistant glazing installed following the ASTM standard, it could have slowed down the shooter and bought first responders some time.
It seemed to be new information to most offices that there are bullet-resistant glazing products widely available already. We had the advantage in many of the meetings we attended to be the first glass industry representatives that the staffers had ever met with. Nearly every representative that we met with expressed great interest in learning the information provided on our school security one-pager.
There is still much up for debate in the school security issue. Republicans are drafting a bill that may compete with the Securing Our Students Act, and Democratic legislators appear unlikely to support a bill that simply advocates for securing schools via bullet-resistant glass without addressing gun control.
But the NGA and its members are still actively advocating for the use of security glazing in schools. Following up on Advocacy Days, attending NGA members are encouraged to send a follow-up email to staffers and offices they met with to thank them for meeting and invite them to use their companies and NGA as a resource going forward. You, too, should speak with your own local representatives about school security and the solutions the glass industry provides. Use the School Security: Windows and Doors Respond First one-pager to summarize the issue and our industry’s existing solutions.