Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
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

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
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
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
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Special Education Teachers
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Letter to the Editor Invisibility to Inclusivity for LGBTQ Students
To the Editor:
I read with interest “The Essential Traits of a Positive School Climate” (Special Report: “Getting School Climate Right: A Guide for Principals,” Oct. 14, 2020). The EdWeek Research Center survey of principals and teachers provides interesting insight as to why there are still school climate issues for LGBTQ students.
1 min read
School Climate & Safety As Election 2020 Grinds On, Young Voters Stay Hooked
In states like Georgia, the push to empower the youth vote comes to fruition at a time when “every vote counts” is more than just a slogan.
6 min read
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Young people celebrate the presidential election results in Atlanta. Early data on the 2020 turnout show a spike in youth voting, with Georgia, which faces a pair of senatorial runoffs, an epicenter of that trend.
Brynn Anderson/AP
School Climate & Safety Opinion The Pandemic Is Raging. Here's How to Support Your Grieving Students
What do students who have experienced a loss need in the classroom? Brittany R. Collins digs into the science.
Brittany R. Collins
5 min read
13Collins IMG
Benjavisa Ruangvaree/iStock
School Climate & Safety Ky. Police Commissioner Resigns After Student Newspaper Investigation
The student newspaper at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Ky., first reported on the state's problematic police training material.
Jeremy Chisenhall & Lexington Herald Leader (ky.)
3 min read
Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer testifies before a legislative committee in Frankfort, Ky., on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. Brewer told lawmakers that over half of the state's cruisers now have been driven over 100,000 miles, making them costly to maintain.
Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer testifies before a legislative committee in Frankfort, Ky., on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. Brewer told lawmakers that over half of the state's cruisers now have been driven over 100,000 miles, making them costly to maintain.
AP Photo/Roger Alford