Max Schachter is the proud father of Ryan, Morgan, Alex and Avery Schachter who bravely recited his son Alex’s poem “Life is like a Rollercoaster” before a global audience during the CNN Town Hall Gun Debate from Parkland, Florida. 

Alex (14) was one of 17 students to be killed when a shooter unlawfully entered the Freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School armed with an AR-15, aiming through a window outside of Alex’s classroom, preying on the defenseless, and senselessly taking Alex and his classmates away from their family and friends forever. Alex is survived by his heartbroken parents, three siblings, grandparents and countless cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.

In an effort to protect all our children and teachers, the Safe Schools for Alex campaign was initiated to support the efforts of a nationwide school safety commission and to establish a foundational school safety implementation model. Schachter convened the first commission meeting on March 5, 2018 in Parkland, Florida with over 25 school safety experts from across the United States. Through this collaborative and impassioned endeavor, the commission was able to identify state-of-the-art school safety guidelines and best-practice training methods that laid the foundation for a national school safety blueprint. Of note, in attendance were representatives from the “Safest School in America”, located in Shelbyville, Indiana. The commission’s blueprint includes multiple layers of security, crime prevention achieved through environmental design, active intelligence, and command/control/coordination with a single entity and local law enforcement. The commission will also recommend introducing a School Resource Officer or School Policing program that is based on a data driven, community policing approach.

“All school safety systems should allow teachers to teach and students to learn, so they do not have to worry about being shot in their classrooms,” says Schachter.

Once the commission’s blueprint is created, Safe Schools for Alex will issue grants to schools across the country to assist them in hardening their structures, so they can better protect themselves from these horrible tragedies in the future.

Since the death of Max’s son Alex, Max has been influential in driving policy change at the highest levels of US government to improve school security and crime prevention, leading additional commissions and committees of interdisciplinary members, politicians, and subject matter experts to drive consensus on challenging school safety issues and obstacles.

Max advocates on behalf of afflicted students, parents, teachers, and individuals affected by school shootings. With a mission to achieve tangible change for these individuals, Max partners and consults with school districts to evaluate their existing safety solutions and prepare a strategic roadmap to increase school protection and contingency plans.

Max has been extremely active in the months since this tragedy, here are just a few of his achievements:

· 3/20/18 Appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve as a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.

· 3/22/18 Traveled to Washington D.C. and met with Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Charles Grassley to explain how unsecure our schools are and implore them to establish National School Safety Standards.

· 4/5/18 Traveled to Indiana with Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie, Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward County School Board Member Abby Freedman, Department of Homeland Security officials, Assistant to Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, Florida Senate President Bill Galvano, Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill and Indiana Sheriff’s Association President Tim Troyer and Executive Director Steve Luce to learn first-hand how Indiana used technology to make their schools safe.

· 4/17/18 Met with Vice President Mike Pence and General Mick Zais (Deputy Secretary of Education) to speak about his goal of creating national school safety standards.

· 4/18/18 Traveled to the FBI Headquarters. Met with Director Wray and Assistant Director of the Office of Partner Engagement, Kerry Sleeper. He had very constructive meetings focused on the FBI’s efforts to develop a national school safety strategy; his day concluded in the Senate Hart building holding a National School Safety Forum with Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson.

Max will not give up until all schools are secure places of learning, so teachers can teach, and students can learn in a safe and fun environment, as they were always meant to be.


Professor of Law

Pepperdine University School of Law

Bernard James is a professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California, where he specializes in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, and Education Law.  He joined the Pepperdine faculty in 1984 after serving in Michigan as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Judge Myron Wahls on the Court of Appeals.   Dr. James is author of the textbook Education Policy and the Law: Cases and Commentary and numerous articles on law, education, and religion.  He is a contributing editor to the NASRO Journal of School Safety, with whom he published To Protect and Educate: The School Resource Officer and the Prevention of Violence in Schools.


He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice where he published Sharing Information: A Guide to FERPA and Participation in Juvenile Justice Programs.  (DOJ Programs 1997).  His school law blog ( is a popular and informative source of school safety law reform.  He lectures in America and Canada on legal issues and serves as a constitutional law commentator for the national and local media.


Senior Vice-President

Chief Security Officer Verizon Communications

Michael A. Mason joined Verizon in January 2008 as the company’s Chief Security Officer.  He oversees and coordinates global security efforts throughout Verizon and all its business units, including enterprise wide security strategy and programs, physical security, cyber security, legal compliance, investigations and law enforcement matters.    In 2010 the department created a very effective Insider Threat Program which has grown from utilizing six employees in 2010 to almost 100 today.  In 2014, Mr. Mason was recognized by Security 500 Magazine as one of 2014’s Most Influential Security Executives.


Immediately prior to joining Verizon, Mr. Mason was an Executive Assistant Director (EAD) with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in charge of the Bureau’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.  In 2004, Mr. Mason was the recipient of a Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive Service (awarded to the top 5% of federal government executives).    He began his career as a Special Agent working investigations ranging from undercover narcotics cases to general crimes and public corruption.  Mr. Mason was the Special Agent in Charge of the Sacramento Field Office and subsequently was promoted to Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office, the FBI’s second largest field office.


Mr. Mason served in the United States Marine Corps from 1980 – 1985 where he achieved the rank of captain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University.  In 2006 he was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremonies at his alma mater, during which he received an Honorary Doctoral Degree.  In 2007, Mason was recognized as the Distinguished Alumni of the Year and currently sits on the Illinois Wesleyan University Board of Trustees, where he has served since 2010.


Mr. Mason also sits on the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Hope International, an organization focused on the eradication of domestic violence both domestically and internationally.  He has addressed many audiences on the subject of domestic violence and the manner in which Verizon is working to address this problem.  He is also a frequent presenter on the subject of leadership both inside Verizon and to external audiences.


Mr. Mason was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and is a proud fan of the 2016 World Series winning Chicago Cubs!

President and CEO
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the nation’s leading nonprofit organization on the forefront of child protection for more than 33 years.

Since 1984, NCMEC has helped law enforcement recover more than 250,000 missing kids, distributed billions of missing posters, operated a 24/7 missing children hotline, offered comfort to countless families and trained and provided free resources to law-enforcement and other professionals across the country.

Clark’s extensive law-enforcement background, including 28 years with the United States Marshals Service (USMS), has uniquely prepared him to lead the Alexandria-based organization, whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent child victimization.

As CEO, Clark oversees a staff of more 340 employees and offices in five states, including Virginia, New York, Florida, California and Texas. Before joining NCMEC, Clark was director of security at Lockheed Martin Corp., the nation’s largest defense contractor.

For 20 years, NCMEC has operated the CyberTipline, a centralized mechanism for reporting child sexual exploitation. During his two-year tenure at NCMEC, Clark has seen an exponential rise in these reports, with 10 million reports made to the CyberTipline in 2017 alone.

What makes NCMEC truly unique is its 30,000-foot view of the evolving threats to our nation’s children. Clark is passionate about sharing this knowledge with families and communities to better protect children.

Throughout his career, Clark has been a leading child advocate. During his tenure at USMS, Clark implemented and administered Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act, which directed USMS to locate and apprehend fugitive sex offenders. He also oversaw the implementation and operation of the National Sex Offender Targeting Center.

Clark was appointed director of the USMS in 2006 by then-President George W. Bush as its ninth director, a post he held for five years. Before joining the USMS, Clark worked for the U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Border Patrol. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Syracuse University.

National Center for Spectator Sports, Safety and Security NCS4

Dr. Lou Marciani is the Director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at The University of Southern Mississippi. The Center was founded in 2006 and is the country’s first academic center dedicated to spectator sports safety and security research, professional development, training and outreach.   His extensive sports management role provides him great insight into addressing the issues constituting potential and actual threats and risks to the ongoing security and safety of spectators at sporting events and venues. His background includes an extensive career in sport management serving as intercollegiate athletic director at several universities and executive director of two national sports governing bodies for the USOC.  


He is the principal investigator in over 9.4 million dollars externally funded grants through the Office of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Education. His work at the Center focuses on the development and implementation of FEMA sport risk management, incident and evacuation training and exercise courses. He has been involved in the development of a computer-based modeling, simulation and visualization tool to aid sport managers, policy makers as well as emergency managers in their “what-if” scenario training to enhance their critical decision making capabilities of preparedness, response and assessment of their overall sport event security.   Under his leadership, the center has grown into a National Center, the addition of a National Sport Security National Laboratory, establishment of the Institute for the Study of Sport Incidents and the Annual Sport Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition.    


The Center has an international outreach, actively working with professional sport leagues, NCAA, private sector and government agencies in enhancing sport safety and security. Dr. Marciani is an active speaker on sport safety and security at international and national sport organization annual conferences.


Executive Director

Safe Havens International

Our Executive Director, Michael Dorn is among the most experienced, widely published and highly respected school safety experts in the world. Michael’s work has taken him to Mexico, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, India and the Middle East. Selected as the Senior Analysts for School Safety and Emergency Management for Jane’s after an international search, Michael has authored and co-authored 27 books on school safety and emergency preparedness. Michael is currently co-authoring a 600-page university textbook for Cognella – Extreme Violence – Preventing and Preparing for Active Shooter, Active Killer, Terrorism and Hate Crimes which is due for publication in 2018. Michael’s previous books include:

·         School/Law Enforcement Partnerships: A Guide to Police Work in Schools

·         Weakfish – Bullying Through the Eyes of a Child

·         Innocent Targets – When Terrorism Comes to School

·         Jane’s Safe Schools Planning Guide for All Hazards

·         Let None Learn in Fear – Michael Dorn on School Safety

·         Staying Alive – How to Act Fast and Survive Deadly Encounters


Michael has keynoted hundreds of states, national and international conferences from Virginia to Vietnam and from Trinidad-Tobago to Toronto. Michael has worked with schools from South Dakota to South Africa and from Kentucky to Kenya and has conducted school security assessments from New York to New Delhi. Michael has delivered keynote or plenary sessions at more than three dozen major universities as well as for the FBI National Academy, United States Department of Education, United States Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Enforcement, the National Association of Pupil Transportation, the National Educator’s Association, the National Association of School Resource Officers, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, the International Bullying Prevention Conference and at the International Conference on Safe School Design. Michael has also keynoted the highly regarded Indiana School Safety Specialist’s Academy for the Indiana Department of Education every year since 2004.

Michael has been a full-time campus safety practitioner for most of the past 35 years and served as a full-time public safety official for 25 years. Prior to serving as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, Michael served as:

·      Police Officer, Corporal, Sergeant and Lieutenant for the Mercer University Police Department

·      Chief of Police for the Bibb County, Georgia Public School System

·      School Safety Specialist for the Office of the Governor – Georgia Emergency Management Agency (top expert for the nation’s largest state government pre – K-20 school safety center)

·      State Antiterrorism Planner and Lead Program Manager for the Georgia Office of Homeland Security Terrorism Division

·      Senior Analyst for School Safety and Emergency Management for Jane’s

A graduate of the 181st session of the prestigious three-month FBI National Academy, Dartmouth College’s Advanced Russian Immersion Language Program, Michael has completed bachelor’s degree with a double major in history and political science and master’s program from the Business School at Mercer University Michael also has a certificate in Management Development from the American Management Association – Harvard School of Business delivered through Mercer University.