This document provides guidance on factors schools must take into account when conducting armed assailant drills. It reflects unique considerations within the school environment, including protecting both physical and psychological safety. It does not constitute an endorsement of a particular approach to training nor a specific training program.
Possible Trauma with School Safety Drills
- Teens who undergo school shooting training and lockdown drills feel more prepared - and less safe in school - says a new study published in the Journal of School Violence. The focus was on students' perceptions before and after going through the safety training. (Retrieved from: CPR Broadcast | Jan. 2020)
- While high profile crisis events and instances of violent crimes at school are extremely rare (e.g. the odds of a student being the victim of a school-associated homicide are about 1 in 2.5 million), it is essential that all schools be prepared to respond to emergency situations as part of their school safety and crisis planning and preparation. Members of the National Association of School Psychologists' PREPaRE Workgroup offer the following guidelines to help schools understand what might be.
- Keeping our school campuses safe from active shooters or intruders is one component of a school emergency plan. Part of being prepared is planning safety drills. The type of drills or exercises your school conducts should map on to your school emergency operations plan. This factsheet provides guidance on steps to consider when performing an active shooter/ intruder drill.
Articles on Possible Trauma With School Safety Drills
- According to the Connecticut Public Radio, Lockdown drills have become increasingly common in schools across the United States. Though drills differ from school to school, they usually require students to crouch in a corner of their darkened classroom, away from the door, and stay quiet until the teacher says it is okay to start talking again. Students start practicing these drills as early as pre-school, before they can truly understand what threat they are hiding from. The following are articles about possible trauma with school safety drills.
- What if someone was shooting?
- More than 4 million children endured lockdowns last school year, a groundbreaking Washington Post analysis found. The experience left many traumatized. The Washington Post shared a story "What if someone was shooting" by Steven Rich and John Woodrow Cox. (Retrieved from: The Washington Post | Steven Rich & John Woodrow Cox - Dec. 2018)
- Are Lockdown Drills Trauma Informed?
- Lockdown drills are our reality. The lights off, huddle and hide routine is now commonplace. However, integrating three Move Mindfully strategies into your lockdown drill will mitigate some of the potentially negative lasting impacts. (Retrieved from: ACES Connection | Stephanie Kennelly - March 2018)
- School Lockdowns Could Have Psychological Effects on Children
With each school shooting tragedy, schools have an exceptional reason to increase security measures to protect its students. But, are there ramifications to these measures?
According to an analysis from the Washington Post, lockdowns can cause grave psychological damage for children. The Post reviewed20,000 news stories and data from 31 school districts in the country's largest cities and found that more than 4.1 million students experienced at least one school lockdown in the 2017-2018 school year. It also found that more than 25,300 students experienced gunfire incidents on campus last school year. (Retrieve from: Campus Safety | Katie Malafronte - Dec. 2018)
- How Are Lockdown Drills Affecting American Kids
- Lockdown drills have become increasingly common in schools across the United States. Though drills differ from school to school, they usually require students to crouch in a corner of their darkened classroom, away from the door, and stay quiet until the teacher says it is okay to start talking again. Students start practicing these drills as early as pre-school, before they can truly understand what threat they are hiding from. (Source: Connecticut Public Radio | Adhiti Bandlamudi - Feb. 2019)
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center - U.S. Department of Education
The REMS TA center provides these downloadable specialized training packages which feature self-paced emergency management training materials to support high-quality emergency management across a range of special topics. School emergency managers may use these materials to train their colleagues or to brush up on their own knowledge regarding special topics in school emergency management. Each package includes training instructions, a Powerpoint presentation, and supplemental resources. Tabletop exercises are also included with some packages.
This document contains a list of Trauma-Informed Drills Resources compiled by the Center.
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