The Valentine’s Day attack killing seventeen innocent people at the Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida has parents with children of all ages frightened about possible incidents in their schools.
On social media pages that bring parents together around school issues from pre-school through college, parents are trying to understand how a tragedy of this magnitude could take place and whether or not their children’s school is vulnerable.
Parents are asking and sometimes demanding answers to their questions: Has the school prepared their staff? Have students been trained as to what to do?
In the past few years, we have covered the Barrington 220 School District training drills for school staff with area first responders.
Student safety has been a priority for Barrington 220 administration.
“I want to assure you that the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. Barrington 220 works closely with area law enforcement agencies to create comprehensive crisis plans for all of our schools. These plans are reviewed annually and updated when needed. We also hold crisis drills with our students and staff each year, to better prepare them for an emergency. Additionally, a major component of our Blueprint 220 initiative is to include physical improvements in all schools to enhance safe and secure learning environments.” Barrington 220 Superintendent Brian Harris shared in a letter to parents.
Many area pre-schools have installed security systems preventing people from entering the school without first being buzzed into a secure area where further entrance access can be determined.
Most colleges and universities have trained their employees or required them to complete a course and/or view videos as to how they should react to a shooter incident on campus. Unfortunately, most do not have drills for students preparing them for a potential threat but rely on alert systems should something happen.
Although possible incidents happen in random areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that citizens prepare themselves and their family members for a possible active shooter situation:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also created easily distributed Active Shooter Pocket Cards to be shared with the public: