Foreseeability is the new legal standard courts use to determine civil or criminal negligence during a school emergency incident. Foreseeability is a person’s ability to anticipate the specific result of an action. If a court decides a reasonable person should have been able to foresee results of an emergency incident causing damage or injury, a school and did nothing to address preparedness for that incident, there could be civil liability oven criminal charges.
WHAT WE KNOW
• We know there will be manmade and natural hazard incidents that will pose a threat to student and staff safety in the future. We know this because data tells us there will be future incidents causing emergency response to schools.
• We know there is a need for Digital and Behavioral Threat Assessment at schools, because the Secret Service has provided data to prove this need in their 2019 report titled “Protecting America’s Schools.
School Safety Operations and Safer Schools Together are pleased to announce the Bridging the Gaps in School Safety 2020 Tour. We’re bringing Proactive Measures and Upper Level Support of School Safety to regional markets across the U.S.
Why? Our goal is to ensure schools and districts have access to the information and resources to improve issues related to safe school culture and climate, compliance statutes governing school safety, proactive programs for early identification of at-risk student behavior, and ideas on funding for target hardening, planning, and training programs. Learn More…
Most state and federal school safety grants now have prerequisites requiring schools and districts to have facility assessments performed by Subject Matter Experts independent from any project performed prior to grant application in order to justify grant funding. This is to ensure funding is spent wisely on projects needed to enhance security at any specific school. We would never put a pool in the backyard before we put the roof on the house, so school safety projects need to follow those same principles:
A secure perimeter
A single point of entry and
Doors that can easily lock
These are basic projects for funding before schools can start adding products to enhance these basic safety measures. Emergency Operations Plans MUST also be compliant to the FEMA Guide prior to grant funding. Non-compliance of plans can also result in civil liability.
Proactive measures in school safety planning, training, and response are the most effective method to address today’s level of threat to safe school culture and climate. The recently released report from the Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center also recommends schools practice digital and behavioral threat assessment at the school level. These programs require training from a professional Subject Matter Expert. Formation of a collaborative team in schools is the recommended best practice from the U.S. Department of Education as a means to ensure compliance with school emergency management planning and training programs.
These issues, along with case studies from current events related to school safety, will be topics discussed during the Bridging The Gaps Workshop Tour. In order for a school safety team to be effective and have an expectation of successful emergency response, team members and all school staff must receive training. Attendees to this workshop will leave with valuable take-aways they can use to shape and move forwards with safety and emergency management programs in their schools.