As teachers and students return to school across the country, thoughts range from nervous excitement to worries about how to keep school buildings–and the people in them–secure.
Last year’s school shooting in Parkland, FL sparked a massive movement, including student lie-ins and protests, focused on gun control and the irrefutable point that students should not have to worry about injuries or death when walking in school hallways or sitting in classrooms.
As students at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School pointed out, they aren’t the site of the first school shooting, and unfortunately, they didn’t expect to be the last. In fact, shortly after the Parkland shooting, another school shooting occurred in St. Mary’s County, MD. And earlier this month, a male high school student in Oklahoma stabbed a female classmate, allegedly because she declined to go out on a date with him despite his repeated efforts.
The frightening regularity with which these violent and fatal incidents occur begs the question: What is being done? As policy debates continue amid calls for reform, new efforts and resources have become available to help school leaders, teachers, and students feel safe in their learning spaces.
1. AASA, The School Superintendents Association, released School Safety & Crisis Planning, a toolkit for proactive best practices before, during, and after a crisis. Specifically designed for superintendents and other district administrators, the online resource features a select group of safety leaders throughout the country who are ready to provide peer-to-peer guidance about a variety of crises, including school shootings, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, suicides, and other major incidents that arrive without a moment’s notice.