Creating and maintaining a positive school climate combined with a sustained school crisis planning process are the keys to ensuring Vermont’s schools continue to be a safe environment where our children can learn and grow. We must continue to leverage existing resources within our schools and foster positive working relationships with our local emergency responders and other internal and external stakeholders to ensure we are prepared to respond to any emergency that may impact our children and our communities.
While much attention has been directed at the most recent violent acts that have taken place in schools across America, we must continually remind ourselves that an all hazards approach to crisis response planning is where we should be concentrating our efforts. Emergency medical issues, bomb threats, child custody issues, school bus accidents, and fights in schools are more likely to be experienced than targeted acts of violence like an active shooter. Maintaining an all hazards crisis response plan, communicating with local emergency first responders, implementing well thought out school safety initiatives, and facilitating a school climate that is welcoming and accepting of all students will serve us all well in our collective desire to keeping our children safe in our schools.
Rob Evans, Public Safety Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 839-0448