Over fifty million American kids are heading back to school in the next couple of weeks. In fact, many schools have already started. Obviously, parents expect these schools to proactively mitigate risk and keep our kids safe.
But don’t assume your kid’s school is acting responsibly to minimize the risk of a loser attempting to kill lots of innocents. Be proactive as a parent. Assess your kid’s school security plan by opening a dialogue with your local school leaders.
The NRA’s School Shield Program provides a great apolitical springboard for those discussions. Not only that, but for no charge at all, the School Shield Program will not only send out experts to do a security evaluation — at no charge — but will also provide money to make recommended security improvements.
Because the harder the target, the less likely a bad guy will successfully recreate another Sandy Hook in your hometown.
Here are some questions the School Shield program has put together for parents to ask teachers and administrators to make sure they don’t have their heads in the sand when it comes to school security.
1. Has our school ever had a vulnerability assessment done?
2. Does our school work with local law enforcement and emergency responders in crisis planning and training?
3. When was our emergency operations/crisis management plan last reviewed?
4. What types of drills are conducted at our school and at what frequency?
5. Are all exterior doors of our school locked during instructional hours?
6. Are all visitors to our school required to check in with the main office?
7. Are students and staff trained on how to identify and report suspicious or concerning behaviors/comments?
8. Does our school have a behavioral threat assessment team?
9. If there is an emergency, how and when are parents/ guardians notified?
10. Do we have designated security personnel assigned to our school? If so, are they armed/unarmed?
In fact, there’s a guide you can download and print out with all of these questions. Or you can email it to your school’s administrators.
The School Shield website also has a series of videos talking about the security analysis their experts provide from the perspective of teachers, parents, paramedics, etc., as well as ways to implement increased security without frightening parents.
Don’t assume your kid’s school is as safe as it could (or should) be. You can help them make sure they work to mitigate risks and maximize safety. The life you save might be your son or daughter’s.