Blog Archives

Emergency Management Agencies: Hidden Treasures for School Preparedness – Part 1

Posted by on March 11, 2010

When I ask many school administrators if they are working with their county emergency management agency on their school crisis planning, I often get a common response:  “Who? What do they do?” We also like to ask school transportation directors if their district’s school buses are part of the county emergency management agency’s plan for mass […]

Bad Things Happen to Good Schools

Posted by on March 7, 2010

When we hear of a school shooting or other high-profile school safety incident, it is normal for people to look to see what the school could have done to prevent it from occurring.  But there is also a more subtle tendency in some people to believe there must be “something wrong” with the victimized school.  […]

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 […]

Who is in Charge When an Emergency Hits Your School?

Posted by on March 4, 2010

In the education community, we like to make decisions through committees and with consensus.  But there is no time to form a committee when you have an irate parent threatening in the main office or when an active shooter is in the school. Principals need to have a solid chain-of-command in their school emergency plans.  […]

Educators are our Very-First Responders

Posted by on February 26, 2010

In the post-Columbine era, we have trained school administrators and crisis teams to plan, train, and drilll closely with first-responders.  I have always been an advocate for school resource officers (SROs), other local law enforcement, fire fighters, and emergency medical service personnel. The Deer Creek Middle School shooting this week reminds us, however, that critical school incidents can […]

School Emergency Preparedness: A Quote to Live By

Posted by on February 24, 2010

  By all accounts, the school and police response at Tuesday’s shooting at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton, Colorado, reflected their planning and preparedness efforts. This was heard time and time again in media interviews.  It was quite evident to those of us who advise school boards, superintendents, and school staff on school crisis planning, […]

Deer Creek Middle School Shooting Has a “Textbook” School Crisis Response

Posted by on February 23, 2010

It is hard to say anything “good” about a school shooting.  We all know there is nothing truly good about another shooting at a school.   As someone who has spent 25+ years of my life training and consulting with educators and first responders to develop meaningful crisis plans, it is in my DNA to first think […]