Do You Know What Drives Your Decisions in a School Crisis?

Posted by on March 5, 2010

The principal of a large high school candidly described to us her thinking process when she responded in two very different ways to two very similar emergency situations in the same week:

“Cognitively, I knew what I should do, but emotionally…”

In my 25-years helping educators gain peace of mind and control over their school safety planning, I know firsthand they are very, very caring people. This is great on a day-to-day basis in their interactions with students.

I am increasingly concerned, though, that without solid crisis plans and training, this caring nature could lead to more emotional, than cognitive, responses in a crisis.

A well developed crisis plan in the hands of a trained school employee can go a long way in guiding them to make cognitive, rational decisions instead of knee-jerk, emotional decisions off the top of their head during a critical incident.  And it is rational thinking which gives us the greatest chance to save lives in a real emergency!

Are your school crisis team members making cognitive or emotional decisions in drills and actual crises?

Ken Trump 

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