A shooting at a Bay District Schools’ board meeting in Florida on Tuesday illustrates the need for school boards and superintendents to include security and crisis planning measures at school administration buildings and support sites.
Security is often neglected for school district central office buildings, board meetings, and other administrative sites. Well-intended board members, superintendents, and central office administrators often focus on school buildings but fail to take steps to reduce risks and prepare for emergencies at their own administration buildings and support sites.
Superintendents and boards need to assess and implement security measures, crisis plans, and crisis teams at administration and other school support sites. Our assessments with schools nationwide typically find administration centers lack building-specific crisis teams, building-specific crisis plans. They also fail to practice fire drills, lockdown drills, and other drills they require of their schools.
Workplace violence considerations and the ever-increasing political nature of school board meetings often draws a presence and attention to school administration offices and the individuals housed in these offices. It is not uncommon for highly-charged meetings and emotional issues to result in escalated undesirable and threatening behavior.
School leaders should assess board meeting security measures including the meeting site(s), physical security measures such as panic buttons and member emergency egress, security and/or police staffing, training of board members in emergency plans, and related measures.
More tips for improving school administration and board meeting security and crisis planning are available at our site on School Administration Building Central Office Security and Emergency Planning.
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