Security in schools means a lot of different things to school administration. Having plans in place for medical accidents, bullying incidents and physical building safety are just a few things that administration must prepare for in their schools.
When I talk about security in schools, I expect administration to make sure there are policies and procedures in place to prepare for a threat on campus. It is incredibly important to encourage an individualized response plan. What do I mean by an individualized response plan? I mean that a teacher or staff member has the ability to make a decision based upon the knowledge of the threat presented to them.
Security in Schools Starts with Having a Plan in Place
School administration needs to take the lead in devising a plan that:
- keeps staff up-to-date with their training,
- students prepared through drill exercises, and
- parents informed through open communication portals.
We always encourage training.
- If you have not sought out education yet for your staff, please do! And if you need assistance in choosing the right active shooter training program, please read here.
- If you have already provided training to your staff, that is great!
The next step to ensure that your school is prepared is to answer “yes” to the following questions.
If you answered “no” to any of them, please make it a high priority to make them a YES!
15 Questions for School Administration to Answer “Yes” to After Receiving Active Shooter Training
- Did your school add emergency lockdown and lockout procedures to your policies that coincide with your active shooter training?
- Have you added aforementioned procedures to your parent/student handbook?
- Do you meet with your staff before the school year starts to review the procedures? Have you encouraged them to post the response options in their classroom?
- Are you scheduling meetings with your staff before the school year about lockdown and lockout drills including a proposed schedule of announced and unannounced drills?
- Do you inform your teachers of age-appropriate conversations that the teachers will have with the students regarding the purpose of the drill?
- Have you encouraged or set aside a time for “practice” drills within the classroom on their own time with the students to prepare them before the all-school drill?
- Do you speak with parents at the beginning of the year about lockdown and lockout drills? Look at the example provided by St. Paul Lutheran School in Boca Raton, Florida in the photo below. Such communications can include a description of what the drill is, why it is completed and stressing the need for age-appropriate conversations with their child regarding the purpose of the drills.
- Does your school have a drill schedule for the year? Begin with very basic, announced drills. The drills should only change in situation or become unannounced once staff and students have become comfortable with the basic drill.
- Have you developed a safety team comprised of non-teaching staff that perform certain roles during a lockout drill?
- Are you or your lead safety team member at your school completing and filing drill logs after each drill?
- Do you or your lead safety team member complete and file after-action reports for incidents that occur on campus?
- Are you or your lead safety team member facilitating a debrief with all staff following a drill and incident in the form of face-to-face meeting or email communication?
- Are you incorporating the active shooter training into new-hire orientation?
- Have you completed a threat assessment of your campus that highlights areas of security vulnerabilities? Are you taking steps to prioritize the vulnerabilities and then remedying them?
- Do you have a system in place to ensure these points are retained each year?
To maintain security in schools, we need to continuously evolve our training.
Much like educational measures and lessons evolve, so does our training. I encourage each administrator to print the questionnaire and make it a point to get these items answered and accounted for.
Good luck with the new school year!
If you are interested in learning more about the active shooter training that we offer to maintain security in schools, please make an appointment with us today!
- FBI Report: Active Shooter Incidents in 2017 – Guardian Defense’s Takeaways - May 16, 2018
- Active Shooter Statistics, By the Numbers - April 24, 2018
- Participation in the 17 Minute National School Walkout after Parkland Shooting - March 16, 2018
- How to Barricade a Door Effectively During a Shooting or Terror Attack - January 31, 2018
- Active Shooter Training Scenarios: Nine Tips to Prepare for Effective Staff Exercises - December 14, 2017
- Active Shooter Training Programs : Need to be Customized? - November 20, 2017
- Las Vegas Shooting: How to Plan for Threats in Public Venues - October 2, 2017
- Lockdown Drill Procedures: 8 Prerequisites for Administrators - September 25, 2017
- Security in Schools – 15 Questions for Administration - August 28, 2017
- Active Killer: Dangerous, But Weak - August 15, 2017