School Crisis / Emergency Recovery

National School Safety and Security Services provides the following recommendations for schools to consider for school crisis / emergency recovery after a major school violence incident:

Mental Health Issues

  • Provide mental health support for students.
  • Make mental health support available for teachers, administrators, and support staff. Kids are not the only people who may be impacted by the incident.
  • Recognize that people grieve in different ways and over different periods of time.
  • Focus on returning to normalcy.
  • Proactively guide the community healing process.

Communication and Media Issues

  • Prepare for ongoing stages of media coverage including breaking news, follow-up immediately after incident, first day back to school, analysis (How did this happen? Could it have been prevented?), recovery and healing process, and one-year anniversary of incident date.
  • Engage and monitor social media channels, and provide accurate updates via social media
  • Actively inform media of school recovery efforts (healing, obtaining community input, analysis of safety issues, etc.).

School-Community and Administrative Issues

  • Anticipate parental and community demands for metal detectors and/or other physical, tangible signs of “security” and pressures for a “guarantee” that another incident will not occur in the future. Anticipate special interest and political agendas to surface. Avoid knee-jerk, feel-good policy changes.
  • Expect community demands for a thorough review of school security and emergency preparedness practices, procedures and plans
  • Conduct a timely debriefing with school and safety officials to identify “lessons learned” on what worked and areas for improvement for future school crisis / emergency planning.
  • Document, as best possible, the time and action taken in all aspects of responding to and managing the school crisis / emergency incident itself, and the recovery process.
  • Establish financial tracking mechanism for all costs involved in the school crisis incident recovery.
  • Anticipate the possibility of potential legal action.

Also see:

National School Safety and Security Services provides school safety consultation to school districts following major school crisis / emergency incidents. For additional information, contact Ken Trump.