Disconnects between what is on paper and what actually occurs in day-to-day practice in school safety can present school leaders with safety risks and potential legal liability.
One Midwest school district was challenged in a law suit for allegedly not following its emergency plan when a student choked on a hot dog in the school cafeteria. The plan reportedly indicated the school had a specific type of response team for medical emergencies. The suit, in part, is said to have questioned whether the school had the level of preparedness and response as indicated in their plan. The court ruled against the district.
The question we pose to school administrators often is: Are you doing what you say on paper you’re doing?
School leaders should align their school safety policies, procedures, plans, and practices. Disconnects could potentially pose risks to school safety and fodder for litigation. Ultimately a judge or jury may decide in cases where schools are legally challenged, but the court of public opinion may also rule against a school district if parents lose confidence in the ability of school leaders to do in practice what they say they are doing on paper to keep schools safe.
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