National School Safety and Security Services provides the following recommendations for schools to consider for school crisis / emergency recovery after a major school violence incident:
Mental Health Issues
- Provide mental health support for students.
- Make mental health support available for teachers, administrators, and support staff. Kids are not the only people who may be impacted by the incident.
- Recognize that people grieve in different ways and over different periods of time.
- Focus on returning to normalcy.
- Proactively guide the community healing process.
Communication and Media Issues
- Prepare for ongoing stages of media coverage including breaking news, follow-up immediately after incident, first day back to school, analysis (How did this happen? Could it have been prevented?), recovery and healing process, and one-year anniversary of incident date.
- Engage and monitor social media channels, and provide accurate updates via social media
- Actively inform media of school recovery efforts (healing, obtaining community input, analysis of safety issues, etc.).
School-Community and Administrative Issues
- Anticipate parental and community demands for metal detectors and/or other physical, tangible signs of “security” and pressures for a “guarantee” that another incident will not occur in the future. Anticipate special interest and political agendas to surface. Avoid knee-jerk, feel-good policy changes.
- Expect community demands for a thorough review of school security and emergency preparedness practices, procedures and plans
- Conduct a timely debriefing with school and safety officials to identify “lessons learned” on what worked and areas for improvement for future school crisis / emergency planning.
- Document, as best possible, the time and action taken in all aspects of responding to and managing the school crisis / emergency incident itself, and the recovery process.
- Establish financial tracking mechanism for all costs involved in the school crisis incident recovery.
- Anticipate the possibility of potential legal action.
- Article: Practical Suggestions for Crisis Debriefing by Dr. Scott Poland.
- School Post-Crisis Recovery Services
National School Safety and Security Services provides school safety consultation to school districts following major school crisis / emergency incidents. For additional information, contact Ken Trump.