Safety, Security, & Emergency Planning in our Nation’s Schools
Think about getting a second opinion or even multiple opinions.
Dr. Victor H. Ferry, Ph.D., Senior Security Consultant
School safety, security and emergency management are now in the forefront of American educational leader thought. Finally, even national and state level politicians and others have come to the conclusion something more needs to be done to curb school violence and tragedies. A few years back, primarily after “Columbine,” school districts scurried to obtain crises plans; plans they could hold up to demonstrate something locally was being done, or at least thought about, to curtail the possibility of a calamity. Fact is and unfortunately, many of these were simply “feel good” actions by educators. The process was simple, get a copy of an existing plan, copy it and distribute it to those in charge of schools and students. The needed details to accompany true E-‐plans or crises plans lay in future actions, many years away and have only recently been addressed in many districts, many within the past few to 5 years. Clearly, the initial actions were honorable and represented recognition that something more than the status quo needed to be addressed. However, much was done sans the benefit of any formal safety or security education, or even experience in the need to address school threats, especially those posed by a suicide shooter. These were almost unheard of in schools and considered unthinkable. Currently, schools are necessarily reassessing preparedness across a wide spectrum of threats. Now, use of or practice of the plans will no longer be eclipsed by an earlier more highly perceived priority: a focus on the education of America’s young. The realization that student safety and welfare has reached its pinnacle of awareness and priority among educators everywhere is an outcome brought about by unspeakable tragedy. Educators and politicians everywhere recognize the need for broad involvement in emergency planning opinions, counsel and advice by trained specialists experienced in safety-‐security management in reviewing all emergency and crises planning. Schools attempting to go it alone risk the possibility of missing a key point or issue that could save lives.
Most importantly, Districts must retain only licensed and professionally certified Security firms that have documented experience in conducting Security, Safety, and Emergency Management Audits and Assessments at educational facilities.
For information as to how our firm can help you in assessing your school district’s safety, security and emergency management needs, contact us via email at www.jsainvestigations.com or call us at 860-‐693-‐6195.
© Jennings Smith Associates 2013