On December 14, 2012, the planning of the late Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, principal of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut, saved the lives of 12 students during what CBS News called “one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.” Previously, she had taught students an emergency escape route out of the school. So, when the perpetrator’s semi-automatic rifle jammed, those 12 students who had been in his sights seized the opportunity and used the route to get away. That incident demonstrates the enormous benefit of district safety planning: In a crisis, people will know what...

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  • About the Author:

    Dr. Joe Erardi is a retired superintendent from Newtown, Connecticut, who has been recognized as the outstanding school superintendent in Connecticut in 2017 and school administrator of the year in 2016. Presently, Erardi coordinates the American Association School Administrators safety website and has served as an executive board member of AASA for three years.