ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Student Safety & Security Conference was in Orlando this week, bringing with it weapon detectors, keyless entry systems, and blackout blinds for windows and doors.

What You Need To Know

  • The National Student Safety & Security Conference was in Orlando this week

  • Experts say the majority of school shootings take place at high schools since 1999

  • Weapon Detection systems are growing in popularity across the country

  • Officials say 18 School shootings have taken place so far in 2024

According to the Security Industry Association, nearly 60% of active shooter incidents at schools since have occurred at high schools since 1999, the year of the Columbine High School mass shooting.

The National Center for Education reports about 2% of elementary schools, 7% of middle schools, and 10% of high schools use some type of weapon detecting device. Those are numbers many in the school safety sector believe will go up in the years ahead, as active shootings on school campuses continue to increase year over year.

On the show floor, vendors showcased what they have to offer to keep schools and students safe from violence.

Bobby Kipper spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement, plus another five keeping students safe on school campuses in Virginia. Now, he is the executive director of the National Center for Prevention of Community Violence, and says more training is needed for students and school faculty for a potential active shooter incident. Arming teachers, he said, is not the way to go.

“I don’t know of a superintendent or a principal that would want to accept the liability of a teacher with a gun,” Kipper said. “By the way, who is going to buy the firearm? Who is going to do the training?”

Remo Eyal, the owner of Decision Tactical in Sanford, said the majority of his business is civilians who can learn the proper use of run-hide-fight in an active shooter situation.

“The idea is, first and foremost, we train police on how to deal with crisis situations,” he said. “Then we train civilians on what would you do in that crisis situation.”

Just last year, Orange County Public Schools rolled out a safety pilot program where weapons detection systems were added to seven schools.