DON’T ask about bullet-proof white boards or other tactical defenses. Ken Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services in Cleveland, Ohio fears that "people’s emotions are raw from the Sandy Hook shooting, from Decatur, the Colorado movie theater and now from the navy yard in D.C."
"Things like bullet-proof backpacks and white boards provide an emotional blanket, but they are not proven affective. They might, in fact, make a situation more dangerous,” Trump says.
DO ask about drills, doors, and demanding parents. Michael Dorn, another school safety expert and Executive Director of Safe Havens International, doesn’t mince words: "We could cut the death rate in half in our schools with things like good student supervision and better drill processes.”
Parents need to respect the rules put in place, Trump says. "Sometimes, the parent that demands advanced security measures is the same one that wants to slip in the cafeteria’s side door and hand their child his lunch.”
DON’T assume your kids have thought about this. It’s natural, and smart, to try to protect kids from of these distressingly frequent images. But that shouldn’t preclude you from having a conversation with your kids about what they’d do in an emergency.
Click here for a more specific list of questions a parent can consider when accessing a school’s safety.
Do you know have questions about your school has prepared for the unthinkable? Let us know in the comments or in a blog post.