In the past 250 years there have been an estimated 370 school shootings in this country – causing the United States to have a higher rate of school shootings than any other country.
According to recent research conducted by John Jay College, roughly 85% of these school shooters had a history of being bullied by classmates. These are some startling statistics.
K-12 schools should have a school safety plan for these types of violent incidents and take a proactive approach in active shooter situations.
By following a few of the school safety tips shared below, k-12 schools can be better prepared and help keep teachers, students and staff member safe.
1. Implement a ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy for Weapons, Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
Research is torn on this approach, but k-12 schools that use ‘restorative justice’ instead of school suspensions are seeing positive results with students.
2. Include an Active Shooter Response Procedure to Your Schools’ Emergency Preparedness Plan
School emergency preparedness plans should address procedures related to active shooter response including lockdowns, evacuations, parent-student reunification, and sending emergency alerts to parents, the media and the school community.
3. Practice Your School’s Safety Plan with Local Emergency Responders
Train school administrators, teachers, and support staff on school violence prevention, school safety and school threat assessment. Emergency responders are strongly encouraged to practice the rapid response to active shooter techniques as well. Schools should make their schools and school buses available after-hours and on weekends so public safety officials can practice responding to active shooter situations in these settings.
4. Have a Way to Communicate with Parents and Emergency Responders
School administrators know that an emergency situation could occur at any time. No matter what the instance is, it is imperative to ensure your emergency alerts are being sent to student families and staff quickly and reliably. It’s vital for school safety. School notification systems help streamline parent communication across multiple channels: voice, email, SMS text, and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
What is your school doing to avoid active shooter situations? Share your thoughts on our blog!