One monthly security drill and one fire drill will be mandatory for New Jersey schools effective November 1, 2010. This law was passed back in January of this year. The New Jersey Department of Education issued guidance July 14 according to the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.
Schools must work with local emergency responders to update safety and security plans, and to create procedures for drilling, managing and responding to school emergencies. The new law also requires all full-time school employees to receive training on school safety and security and drills.
This sounds great. And many schools will likely comply.
But what about those schools that do not comply?
My experience has found most states having school safety requirements unfortunately have little-to-no proactive auditing or enforcement of these types of requirements. There are some exceptions, such as the Indiana Department of Education where members of its School Safety Specialist Academy and Student Services Department go out to inspect and work with local school districts to make sure they are meeting minimum state requirements for school emergency plans.
But most states have fewer and fewer “carrots” (such as school safety grants) to encourage fulfillment of their requirements. They have few, if any, “sticks” (consequences) for those districts not in compliance.
We have consulted for school districts where their states required certain plans updated annually. Yet these districts had plans over five years old.
Does your state have mandatory school safety requirements for its local school districts? Are you familiar with these requirements? Are there proactive auditing and enforcement protocols in place to ensure compliance?
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