The recent school shooting in Perry, Iowa, has prompted parents to speak up for school safety. Grace Castro spoke out, criticizing the school district’s safety policies, “lives were lost due to our lack of preventative measures.” This statement echoed through the community. Parents, students, and other community members flooded the Facebook page, agreeing with Castro’s statement. Some suggestions to improve school safety measures included the installation of metal detectors, single-point entry, enforcement of a clear-bag policy, and hall monitors.
These suggestions are steps in the right direction and add extra layers of protection. However, the main issue stems from the school’s training system. Schools across the U.S. have started implementing adaptable training programs to address questions and concerns from students, parents, faculty, and law enforcement.
“School shootings raise concern and dialogue on school safety in school communities across the nation. Parents often press school boards and superintendents for information and improvements in their school safety plans, procedures, and emergency guidelines.”
Why Is School Safety Training Important?
There are numerous reasons why school safety training is critical. For most, installing safety equipment and implementing new security policies are important steps toward creating a safer school environment. However, for safety equipment and policies to be effective, school safety training is a necessity. Without it, even advanced safety systems are subject to misuse, putting lives in jeopardy.
It Builds Confidence
As with anything, practice makes perfect. Lockdown training gives staff, students, and law enforcement opportunities to ask questions and familiarize themselves with safety equipment and lockdown protocols. Lockdown drills are a time to make mistakes, learn from them, and improve. As people practice and learn more about the systems that protect them, they become more confident because they know what to expect during a lockdown. Regular training sessions prepare staff and students to act quickly and assuredly if a real lockdown occurs.
Students from Van Duyn Elementary School in Syracuse, New York, have thoughts on why lockdowns are important. The vast majority of students made a statement similar to ‘the drills keep us safe.’ Thomas Ristoff, director of the Syracuse City School District’s Department of Public Safety, backed the student’s comments. Ristoff says, “If done properly, in conjunction with training, the lockdown drills provide us with an opportunity to train our staff and students to build their confidence in their ability to respond to an actual crisis.”
A school’s safety training program won’t stay the same forever. Over time, it will evolve to include new safety practices and reflect changes to the school and the world around it.
Modifications to the environment require schools to reevaluate their training needs. These changes might include installing a comprehensive safety and security system, like The SmartBoot System™, or building additions. Whenever the building goes through major changes, the current lockdown protocols may need to change along with it. School safety training should reflect these revisions so that staff and students learn how to respond to a lockdown in their new surroundings and with new safety equipment available.
Other factors contribute to changes in school safety training. The sad reality is that tragedies like mass shooting events provide valuable information that can be used to help save lives. Once an incident is analyzed, authorities can learn from it and make new safety recommendations and guidelines. Armed with new information, schools can adapt their training plans to help prevent similar events from occurring in the future.
School safety training is incredibly valuable. Frequently practicing safety drills ensures that staff and students feel confident and be ready to respond to danger at a moment’s notice. When guidelines are constantly changing, a school’s training needs may change as well. Remember: regular assessments are necessary to ensure your school’s safety plan is up-to-date.
Our multi-faceted training team provides tailored programs, specific to all age ranges and cognitive abilities. Count on The Lockout Co. to provide your school with the proper training and emergency response protocols.
Contact The Lockout Co. to learn how your school will benefit from our safety training programs.