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School Safety Resources

Updated March 16, 2018

Reassure your students, staff, and parents that your schools are safe. Emphasize that every threat is taken seriously and reported to your local law enforcement agency.
This is the time to review the building and district safety plans with your administrative team, staff and students.  Don’t forget to include non-professional staff as necessary, such as substitute teachers, cafeteria workers, evening custodians, bus drivers, etc.  
Consider conducting table top exercises with staff and students to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
Consider conducting intruder/lockdown/evacuation drills in conjunction with local law enforcement followed by debriefing sessions to analyze strengths and weaknesses.
Consider reviewing your district and building safety plans if they have not been updated for some time.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education Office of Safe Schools provides districts with an All Hazards Toolkit to develop a comprehensive school safety plan. Districts can contract with a representative of the Office of Safe Schools to facilitate the development of the plan with the district, local law enforcement, and first responders.
Consider conducting a safety audit of your district buildings by the Pennsylvania State Police or other law enforcement agencies if you have not already done so, or if it has been several years since the last audit.  
Consider meeting with your local law enforcement and first responder agencies in the near future to be sure that responses to threats and emergencies are coordinated. 
Begin conversations and planning on how to process the proposed student walkouts/demonstrations scheduled for March 14 and April 20. 
Conduct a review of your district policies relating to school safety.

Webinar: School Threat Assessment: A Proactive Guide for Schools (sponsored by PASA, PSBA, PSEA, PA Principals Assn.)

Video: "Know the Signs" (Sandy Hook Promise)

"Lesson Plan: Civic Engagement and Ways for Students to Get Involved" (PBS Newshour Extra) 

List of School Safety Resources & Publications (as published by Sigma - Threat Management Associates)

ALICE Training website (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate)

A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools (NASP)

Statements on School Safety

Joint Statement on Student Voice and Demonstrations in Response to the Parkland, Florida Shootings (Feb. 26, 2018)

AASA Position on School Safety: A Response to the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary (July 11, 2013)

PASA Statement on School Safety (April 2013, as agreed to by the PASA Board of Governors)

Resources from AASA

Student Activism after Parkland: Some First Amendment Considerations for School District Leaders (Hogan Lovells)

Supporting Superintendents, Supporting Students: Resources For School And Gun Safety Discussions And Advocac​y (AASA)   

Federal Resources

"Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools" (U.S. Department of Education)

"Making Schools Safer" (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, May 2013)

"Understanding and Preventing School Shootings in the United States" (Congressional Briefing, Feb. 10, 2015)

A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013 (U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI, Sept. 16, 2013)

From the PDE and PEMA

Template: Model MOU between Local Law Enforcement and School Entity (PDE)

Statement from Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera (Feb. 28, 2018)

All Hazards Toolkit (PEMA)

Sample Superintendent letter to parents (PA Department of Education, Office of Safe Schools)

School Walkouts

"School Walkouts as Civil Disobedience: How Should Districts Respond?"  (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

"Lessons Learned from School Crises and Emergencies" (U.S. Department of Education: Readiness & Emergency Management for Schools [REMS] Technical Assistance Center)

PASA Testimony

House Education Committee (3/15/18)

Senate Education Committee (3/2/18)