The academic year is upon us again. Many schools are back in session despite the current tidal wave of fears surrounding the latest Covid variant. Many emergency drills have focused on active shooters or other intruder-triggered lockdown procedures for over twenty years. This climate, of course, goes beyond the typical drills of years past when fires or other hazards were the focal points of such rehearsals. But evidence has shown that teachers and students alike can be traumatized by hyperrealistic drill situations. So it’s time to rethink this unfortunately necessary part of modern educational life.
Communicate As Clearly As Possible
Communication is key. Those three simple words cannot be overstated enough. Poor communication can lead to disaster or make an emergency even worse by way of mass confusion. Coming up with a complex set of codewords is both counterproductive and counterintuitive. In an emergency, every second counts. That’s why simplicity makes so much sense. Moreover, designating number or letter shorthands for different school zones facilitates tactical response by first responders.
Provide Every Staff Member Extra Training
Throughout the school year, professional development days give teachers a chance to discuss better ways to teach and receive feedback on how well they’re doing. Plus, educational methods change over time, hence why supplemental training matters so much. With that in mind, allow every staff member (not just faculty) to partake in relevant training sessions. In other words, focus on threat assessment, violence prevention, crime prevention, situational awareness, and reporting procedures.
Enhance Physical Security Assets During Renovations
At some point, older school buildings must be renovated. That is just a fact of life. Likewise, new school campuses integrate more sophisticated technology that their aging predecessors were not designed to have. Either way, enhance physical security measures. Classroom doors are often overlooked when it comes to “hardening” onsite assets. Entry and exit doors can also be equipped with magnetic or keycard locks. Windows, stairwells, and portable structures behind the main building must be maintained, reinforced, and modernized.
Incorporate Reverse Lockdown Best Practices
The idea of a “reverse lockdown” may seem impractical or unfeasible. However, cunning intruders may attempt to exploit this shortcoming to their advantage. That’s why revising your standards to include reverse lockdown measures (drills to get people inside instead of out) makes an enormous difference. Being locked outside and unable to take cover is terrifying, and it should be addressed during these drills, too.
TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS AT ARK SYSTEMS
Located in Columbia, Maryland, ARK Systems provides unsurpassed quality and excellence in the security industry, from system design to installation. We handle all aspects of security with local and remote locations. With over 30 years in the industry, ARK Systems is an experienced security contractor. Trust ARK to handle your most sensitive data storage, surveillance, and security solutions. Contact ARK Systems at 1-800-995-0189 or click here today. Check us out on Facebook and Twitter as well!