The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has issued a statement outlining its new initiatives in response to the rising tide of school shootings in the United States. The statement, titled “Where we stand: School design and student safety,” outlines four paths of action the Institute intends to take to support architects and school communities.
While not containing a detailed policy to tackle the ongoing crisis, the AIA statement commits to updating school design guidelines, supporting education to achieve safe school design, making safe school design eligible for federal grants, and establishing a federal clearinghouse on school design.
Over the course of almost two decades, architects have worked with school communities across the country in response to repeated acts of deadly violence targeting students and educators. Architects feel a deep responsibility to contribute to solutions on this troubling issue. We’re committed to working with all concerned stakeholders and every level of government, on both sides of the aisle, to keep our children safe.
-Excerpt from “Where we stand: School design and student safety"
As part of their new initiative, the AIA will “lead efforts at the local, state, and federal levels of government to update school design guidelines.” The initiative asks architects to offer strategies designed to avert or restrict violence, while not compromising on open, positive environments. The AIA also will “support collaborative and continuing education to achieve safe school design” by engaging with members and leaders in communities, promoting these design guidelines.
The AIA will “strive to make safe school design eligible for federal grants” by spearheading a multi-stakeholder coalition, supporting bipartisan efforts that make the architectural design for schools an allowable use of federal funds. Finally, the AIA will “establish a federal clearinghouse on school design” which creates a repository of architectural resources available to officials, designers, and other professionals.
The AIA intervention on gun violence targeted at teachers and school students comes as the design is unveiled for a memorial dedicated to the 26 victims of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
News via: American Institute of Architects