Strategies to Improve School Safety
Over the past decade and a half, the United States has experienced an unprecedented level of violence within the school setting. The first, prominent display of a mass school shooting occurred at Columbine High School in 1999. This called for national change to take place where every school in America became required to conduct a Code Red Drill for school lockdown to prepare adults and students in the case of another incident of this nature ever happening again.
Throughout the day on December 14th, 2012, I was receiving many birthday wishes from faculty, staff and students where I teach here in Connecticut. Before the start of one of my afternoon classes, a group of students rushed into my classroom frantically and informed me of the horrific mass school shootings that had transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Words cannot begin to describe the gruesome nature of this shooting rampage that took place just 25 miles down the road from where I grew up. Unfortunately, this was the third time in 2012 that a school shooting has taken place in the U.S. However, this tragedy marked the worst shooting in a K-12 school in history leaving 26 people dead, 20 of them being students and 6 of them adults (excluding the murder of the assailant’s own mother in her home).
1. Crisis teams at schools will need to evaluate their security protocol for allowing visitors access into the school (i.e. security guards at all schools, cameras inside and outside of the school, central button in the main office to electronically shut classroom doors and go in lockdown, etc.)
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