Based on the findings from a Gallup Poll from August, three in ten parents worry about their child’s safety at school. Although the number has decreased since the tragedy of Sandy Hook, concerns still remain. The safety of our children is of the utmost importance.
There are many types of dangers both natural and man-made that schools may experience. Oftentimes, schools have plans for how to respond to a fire or tornado and while such plans are necessary, so too is a plan for responding to an active shooter or violent intruder. Do you know your child’s school’s plan for responding to an active shooter or violent intruder? Does the school have a plan? Make sure that your child’s school has a plan for active shooter or violent intruder by inquiring. Below, are ten questions to ask school administration about what they train teachers and students to do during an active shooter or violent intruder event.
1. What is the school’s training/policy when it comes to active shooter or violent intruders?
2. What does research show that supports the school’s plan for active shooter or violent intruder?
3. Is the school’s plan supported by the recommendations from the Department of Education or Department of Homeland Security?
4. If the school has a lockdown-only response, what are teachers telling my child to do if the attacker gets in the room?
5. How is the school training students for violent intruder or active shooter events?
6. Does the school run drills?
7. What steps are taken to ensure that my child knows the layout of the building?
8. Who is authorized to make an alert announcement during an emergency?
9. Are codes used to indicate there is violence in the building?
10. What options do students and teachers have in an active shooter or violent intruder event?
You, as the parent, have a right to know what plans your child’s school has in place for how they will respond and how they expect your child to respond to an active shooter or violent intruder event. The questions above are meant to help you start the dialogue with school administration. When you go to administration bring suggestions for ways the school can better prepare for an active shooter or violent intruder event.
Lockdown is no longer enough; schools need more options for protecting students during active shooter or violent intruder events. Learn more about the recommendations made by state and federal agencies regarding how schools may respond during such an event by reading the case study. We hope that through communication with administration you will gain confidence in the school’s plan for protecting your child and other students during an active shooter or violent intruder event.