Please remember, these posts are far too short to delve into all the possibilities and items that need to be accomplished in training the staff, parents, & yes even students, so if you need questions answered then contact a security training professional, who knows this stuff and will be as hard as diamonds or as soft as a baby’s bottom Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention or Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting
Parents & administrators/management are readily willing to learn about active shootings and the idea of blaming everyone else for the problem. But when it comes to blaming themselves, well …that is an entirely different story…to the smallest degree.
This is a very brief synopsis of what needs to be trained, who needs to be trained, and how you need to train them;
1. Warning signs, the idiotic phrase “Not my lil angel”, and how to approach them from a security standpoint and at times empathetic line.
2. The attitudes that can cause alienation of students, or the perception of it. There are more than a few and you, and them, may be surprised at what they are…besides everyday items that aren’t thought of every day.
3. Communication between teachers, administration, parents, & students. This is one area that absolutely has to be done. Communication is an absolute must for everyone up & down the ladder. From teachers, administrators, parents, & the children themselves (age appropriate of course).
4. Understand that there is no such thing as plausible deniability. Everyone needs to understand this and use #3. And going along with this is stop blaming everyone else for what your kids do. You’re the parent. Of course, there is plenty of blame to go around but stop blaming others until it can be seen objectively.
5. Zero tolerance doesn’t work. Zero tolerance policies are a simple way to avoid responsibility and not think about the potential incident. A way to dispense with the problem that may not be clear and concise. I don’t like excuses, what about the days when you were forced to think on your feet? Where have the administrators went that solved so many smaller, now they are, issues, by the seat of their pants and everyone was satisfied?
6. Security measures that isn’t secret. Do they need to know everything? No, but they need to be assured that the school is safe… without being lied to, misled, or deceived.
7. Disaster/active shooter plan outlines – the same goes here as for #6. Does everyone need to know the details? Of course not, but make it appropriate as in above.
Who needs to be trained:
1. EVERYONE in the school, literally, from all levels. The importance of the training absolutely must be understood and not dismissed as not vital or unimportant. From administration all the way down to the students, making it age appropriate if necessary. This includes the parents as well…no one should be excused from this training.
2. Classroom style in a comfortable way. Serve coffee or water. Don’t let it degenerate into a sales bitch session, no better way to turn everyone off. And obviously, you don’t want it to degenerate into a “he said, she said” argument debate. This is a training class, not a debate for Senator!
3. If questions aren’t forthcoming, then use the Socratic Method, ask them questions and make them think about the answers.
4. Utilize Keep It Simple Stupid. Not necessarily politically correct, but do you want political correctness or a safe environment for…everyone?
5. Use handouts as reference materials so they can retain what you talked about.
6. Use disaster & active shooter drills within the school but do so sparingly. Once a year is good enough. Table top exercises should also be employed for staff, at least every 3 – 6 months. They will be the ones that need to keep the kids safe if violence breaks out, therefore their continual training is vital to fully comprehending what needs to be done.
7. Ensure that a full evaluation of your drills, training, & all other reference materials is documented, analyzed, researched, & acted on by a professional. It does no good to have a plan if it never gets updated.
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson
So, how do we protect our kids while they’re at school? Keep in mind that no matter what we do, a child can always be killed at school due to another student. Even turning our schools into armed camps wouldn’t stop it all. Even pencils, staplers, and other such common materials can be used as deadly weapons. As for bullying and other good-natured teasing…sewing their mouths shut is all that will be effective.
To be totally realistic, the only thing we can do to prevent our kids from being assaulted or killed at school is know the warning signs, attitudes, physical security, & training. Above that it is nearly impossible to protect them at every single moment of the day without wrapping them in bubble wrap. Remember…it never stops and never will.
It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Any Where… For any Reason
I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear
Permission to share? Of course, with full attribution.
Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars