School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor

Safe School Procedures Are a Must

August 20, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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


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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

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 What the Research Says Bullying Dropped as Students Spent Less Time in In-Person Classes During Pandemic
Researchers based their findings on an analysis of internet searches on online and school-based harassment.
5 min read
Cyber bullying concept. Paper cut Woman head silhouette with bullying messages like disgusting, OMG!!, loser, hate, ugly, and stupid.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School Climate & Safety Interactive School Shootings This Year: How Many and Where
Education Week is tracking K-12 school shootings in 2022. See the number of incidents and where they occurred in our map and data table.
3 min read
Sign indicating school zone.
School Climate & Safety Infographic School Shootings in 2021: 4 Takeaways, in Charts
In 2021, there were 34 school shootings that hurt or killed people, the most since 2018. Here's what we know about school shootings this year.
Illustration of a gun and a school in the background.
iStock/Getty collage
School Climate & Safety Opinion Assessing Shooting Threats Is a Matter of Life or Death. Why Aren't Experts Better at It?
To take the right actions before the next tragedy occurs, schools need all the help they can get, write three experts.
David Riedman, Jillian Peterson & James Densley
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of young person in crisis