Federal authorities acknowledge a credible terrorist threat to your city or to a city near you. What does a school principal and superintendent do?
School officials faced this very reality last night when federal homeland security officials acknowledged a credible al-Qaeda terrorist threat to NY City and Washington, DC.
School safety officials in New York City and DC likely have detailed security and emergency preparedness plans specific to a credible terror threat. But what about schools in smaller school districts in the region or in other U.S. cities?
Place yourself in this position: It is late Thursday evening. Schools are closed for the day. National news alerts say federal homeland security officials acknowledge a credible threat involving vehicle-borne explosives.
Speculation and rumors abound, questionable details leak to the media about stolen rental trucks possibly picked up by terrorists in a large Midwest city, and public safety officials hold late night press conferences about the seriousness of the threat and heightened security measures.
Today the focus is on NY City and DC. But what about the many smaller cities and their schools in the broader region?
And what if the location changed to another area of the country? Suddenly overnight, the same type of credible threat is announced but the location is a different large city area in the Midwest or on the west coast.
For well over a decade, I have written about schools and terrorism on my web site, blog, and again in my latest book on Proactive School Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning. Still, there are some who want to dismiss this conversation as being “alarmist” instead of as being a practical, balanced “realist” perspective.
Is your city and school district prepared to respond to a credible terrorist threat on a moment’s notice?
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