securing tomorrowMy Perspective on Comprehensive Staff Training
I began my career as an eighth-grade science teacher and retired as the district’s Safety Director thirty years later.
Although I retired from education in 2012, I am still a Police Officer in the State of Ohio. My primary duties are training, community outreach programs, and emergency management planning. These careers meshed well when I began working in schools, healthcare, and business with a focus on risk management.
My commitment to the well-being of students and educators has only deepened over the years as I have grown my company. In this blog post, I look at the critical aspects of school safety, security, emergency preparedness, and why ongoing staff training is important for creating a resilient and secure learning environment.
Understanding the Landscape:
School Safety and Security
In today’s dynamic educational landscape, prioritizing school safety and security is non-negotiable. Parents entrust us with the safety of their children, and as educators, we have a responsibility to create an environment that fosters both academic growth and physical and emotional well-being. School safety encompasses a broad spectrum, from physical security measures to effective emergency preparedness protocols.
The Importance of Emergency Preparedness:
A Proactive Approach
Emergency preparedness goes beyond routine drills; it requires a proactive and comprehensive strategy. Schools must be equipped to handle a range of situations, from natural disasters to unforeseen security threats. Developing and regularly updating emergency response plans ensures that everyone, from students to staff, knows their role in maintaining a safe and secure environment. We cannot train for every possible event, so we focus on the two most important goals during an event: Life Safety and Incident Stabilization. In simple terms it means keeping you and your students safe and don’t do anything to make the situation worse.
The Linchpin of Effective School Safety
A well-prepared staff is the linchpin of any effective school safety program. Regular training sessions empower educators and support staff with the skills and knowledge needed to respond calmly and efficiently during emergencies. From first aid and crisis communication to evacuation procedures, ongoing training creates a culture of preparedness that permeates the entire school community. Although it is important to plan, prepare, and train for Active Threat Events, it is more important to train for the events you are more likely to experience. We are more likely to experience the death of a student from violence in their community, an automobile crash, or a suicide than we are from a school shooting. While these deaths happen off school grounds, they have a profound impact on our students and staff.
Collaboration and Communication:
Building a Unified Front
In today’s dynamic educational landscape, prioritizing school safety and security is non-negotiable.
Parents entrust us with the safety of their children, and as educators, we have a responsibility to create an environment that fosters both academic growth and physical and emotional well-being. School safety encompasses a broad spectrum, from physical security measures to effective emergency preparedness protocols.
A Retired Teacher’s Perspective
Having spent years in the classroom, I understand the unique challenges educators face. It’s not just about imparting knowledge but also ensuring the safety and well-being of every student. Drawing on my experience, I emphasize the importance of combining practical training with a deep understanding of the school’s culture and the normal routines of a school day. An easy way to improve the safety of a school is to have teachers in the hallway during class change. This gives us the opportunity to prevent behaviors that cause students to feel uncomfortable and to make ourselves available to students who want to share concerns they have in our school.
School safety and security are ongoing commitments that demand vigilance, collaboration, and continuous improvement. By prioritizing comprehensive emergency preparedness and staff training, we pave the way for a secure and nurturing learning environment. As a retired teacher and safety director, coupled with my 33 years in law enforcement, my mission is to empower schools to embrace a proactive approach, ensuring that every educator and student feels secure, supported, and ready for whatever challenges the future may bring.
Together, let’s secure tomorrow.
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what challenges do you face while training your staff?
what exercises do you have planned for the remainder of the school year?