POSTED BY JEAN DEMCHAK MARCH 08, 2018
Active shooter events and other mass shootings have become all-too-familiar events in the US. Also, no sector is more vulnerable than education. From 2000 to 2016,
For education institutions, the lesson is clear: You must be prepared. Here are four ways you can better ensure your school is ready to respond to an on-campus shooting.
“Create a Plan and Test It”
If you don’t already have one, you should immediately create an emergency response plan. It also should include procedures for reporting and reacting to active shooter events. If you already have a plan, make sure it’s up to date! Cause it won’t be helpful if it’s been gathering dust on a shelf.
- Include input from risk management, safety, human resources, and legal departments. Along with local law enforcement and contract security service providers, if engaged.
- Provide clear guidance on what students, teachers, and other staff should and should not do in an emergency.
- Regularly conduct tabletop exercises each semester to test your plan’s effectiveness and clarify roles and responsibilities. You should also conduct at least one active shooter drill. Hopefully with the involvement of students or using parents in the student role — during each school year. Rotate the drill among individual schools in a district or across buildings on a campus.
“Consider New Threats”
Just as the methods used by other bad actors, including terrorists and cyber-attackers, have evolved. Also, the tactics used by active shooters are also changing. For example, law enforcement officials believe that the Parkland school shooter may have pulled a fire alarm. This added to the chaos there. Consider these and other scenarios, how they could play out on your campus, and how your people should respond.
“Strictly Enforce Safety and Security Policies”
It’s good to have specific policies in place to protect students and teachers, but they’re only helpful if implemented. Adopt specific procedures, make sure that all personnel knows they should apply to everyone, with no exceptions. For example, if you choose to introduce metal detectors, ensure that all students, faculty, and visitors are screened. And if you require key card entry, make sure that every person entering your buildings swipes their badge and closes doors after entering.
“Review Your Insurance Program”
Several forms of insurance can respond to the physical and reputational harm caused by shootings. This
For more on this topic, read Protecting People and Operations from Active Shooter Threats