School Violence Prevention – Early Responses Show Tools, Plans and Training Needed

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SurveyParticipateSchool Violence: Do you know your school’s operational and security risks? Do you have a threat assessment process that meets best practices? During our Annual School Crisis Preparedness Report survey period, Firestorm will waive its $2500 fee to conduct a one-hour risk assessment for participating schools. Participating schools will additionally receive a detailed, custom risk assessment report at no charge.  Request your Assessment here: http://www.firestorm.com/engage-us/submit-a-question

Please enter “Free School Risk Assessment” in the comments section of this form

It has been a tragic and disturbing week for schools in the United States this week:

  • A student accused of murdering a Massachusetts high school math teacher used a box cutter to stab her before disposing of her body
  • An 11-year-old in the state of Washington was charged with attempted murder after bringing 400 rounds of ammunition, a handgun and several knives to his school
  • A teacher was killed on Tuesday in Sparks, Nevada, by a 12-year-old boy who then turned the firearm on himself. Two other students were wounded in the shooting

A recent Gallup poll suggested that 25% of US parents are concerned about their children being harmed while at school, making it one of their top crime concerns.

As a part of Firestorm’s Annual School Crisis Preparedness Report, early respondents – including school teachers, principals and administrators from more than 200 independent schools representing more than 100,000 students, expressed their own concerns regarding their readiness to respond in the event of a crisis.

Preliminary responses:

  • 58% of schools report that their disaster, emergency and crisis plans are “a work in progress,” with only 18% responding that their schools are completely prepared for a crisis. 
  • 44% of respondents were “not sure” if their schools had disaster, emergency and crisis plans, and 38% responded that they “needed help” in this area.
  • More than 55% of schools reported that they “need guidance with crisis plans, tools and training.”

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In an FBI report “The School Shooter: A THREAT ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE” a primary conclusion states: “…school administrators and staff members should receive additional training in the fundamentals of threat assessment, adolescent development and violence, and other mental health issues relevant to the area of adolescent development. Specialized training is needed for those assigned to conduct or supervise the assessment process.”
The report continues: “Training is also needed to educate and sensitize students about “leakage” and its significance in dealing with the threat of violence. Students are often in the best position to see and hear signs or cues of potential violence, and training should stress that ignoring those cues or remaining silent can be dangerous for themselves as well as others.”

As Firestorm continues to collect and analyze data, we find good news in that schools are actively pursuing an analysis of their campus readiness and taking appropriate steps to more thoroughly implement crisis planning, tools and training.

 

What Can Your School Do? Predict.Plan.Perform.®

Predict. Conduct a detailed threat and vulnerability analysis—a Risk Assessment. Do you know your operational and security risks? Do you have a threat assessment process that meets best practices? During our survey period, Firestorm will waive its $2500 fee to conduct a one-hour risk assessment for participating schools. Participating schools will receive a detailed report at no charge.  Request your Assessment here: http://www.firestorm.com/engage-us/submit-a-question

Please enter “Free School Risk Assessment” in the comments section of the form

Plan. Develop emergency response, crisis management and communications, reunification, and security plans. Have all of your school violence plans been integrated with your visitor, human resource hiring/termination, and threat assessment policies?

Does your school have appropriate response protocols–lock-down, lock-out, shelter and evacuation procedures?

Perform. Train and test plans. Does your school have response protocols in place that have been drilled and practiced with first responders? Is your reunification plan actionable?

Firestorm is currently engaged to help keep hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of students safer. Firestorm principals and Expert Council members have the strongest credentials in the school safety industry. We have responded to some of the nation’s greatest school tragedies—including Virginia Tech, Columbine, and Platte Canyon. Firestorm’s crisis response experience extends beyond school shootings and includes incidents of sexual abuse, suicide, bullying, hazing, employee/student/domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, drowning, and child pornography.

The main take away from all of these tragic events is that there is no single solution to prevention or mitigation. Only through the implementation of a preparedness program, that incorporates assessment, planning, training, and testing, along with the use of equipment, technology and most importantly, human resources, is there the greatest potential to make a difference in the outcome.

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