Opinion
School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor

Safe School Procedures Are a Must

August 20, 2019 1 min read

To the Editor:

School violence has changed education. Policies and procedures are constantly being developed, implemented, and reviewed to make sure students and staff have a safe learning environment. In a recent Education Week blog post (“Superintendent Faces Discipline After Authorizing Active-Shooter Drill With Mask, Fake Gun,” July 17, 2019), the reporter narrated some of the chaos of an active shooter drill gone wrong in California’s Raisin City school district.

It’s hard to fathom why anyone would think this unannounced drill was a good idea. Security consultant Kenneth Trump had it right when he claimed that this drill was “over the top.” Everyone involved in the exercise has been affected by it, which may provoke emotional stressors. We owe it to students to create a safe learning environment.

The post’s description of 3rd grade teacher Danny Nason’s encounter with a “shooter” during the drill gave me chills. Taking action against an active shooter while maintaining order and safety in the classroom is a tremendous feat. As educators, we chose to enter the field out of a desire and passion to work in a child-oriented field—if we wanted to go into law enforcement, we could have chosen that career.

To create a safe learning environment, policies and procedures should be developed and implemented by a collaborative group including unions, boards of education, and safety professionals.

The National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Resource Officers have developed guidelines available online that are deemed best practice for active-shooter drills. It would be beneficial for every district to follow them.

Catrina Christensen

School Counselor

Babylon, N.Y.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2019 edition of Education Week as Safe School Procedures Are a Must

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Interactive Which Districts Have Cut School Policing Programs?
Which districts have taken steps to reduce their school policing programs or eliminate SRO positions? And what do those districts' demographics look like? Find out with Education Week's new interactive database.
A police officer walks down a hall inside a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (images: Michael Blann/Digital/Vision; Kristen Prahl/iStock/Getty Images Plus )
School Climate & Safety These Districts Defunded Their School Police. What Happened Next?
Six profiles of districts illustrate the tensions, successes, and concerns that have accompanied the changes they've made to their school police programs over the last year.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Ryan David Brown for Education Week
School Climate & Safety Defunded, Removed, and Put in Check: School Police a Year After George Floyd
Education Week has identified 40 school districts that defunded their police after last summer's Black Lives Matter protests.
Police officer outside of a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (image: Bastiaan Slabbers/iStock)
School Climate & Safety Biden Team to Revisit How Schools Should Ensure Racial Equity in Discipline
The Trump administration pulled a directive on fair discipline for students of color. Biden's Education Department will review the issue.
4 min read
a student sits alone in a hallway
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Image: DigitalVision)