School Security and Safety at the Forefront After Newtown Shootings
The entire country sat in disbelief and horror as the events of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut unfolded on December 14th when 20 six- and seven-year old children and six adults were gunned down. No words can adequately describe the pain and sorrow felt across the land for the victims and their families. At the same time, school officials are grappling with the types of measures needed to further strengthen school security and safety at their institutions to help prevent such tragedies from occurring. Extra precautions, extra training and extra discussions are taking place and forthcoming in the wake of the killing spree in Newton.
Some schools are reviewing their emergency preparedness drills with teachers, students and administrators; others will take part in sessions involving a gun and knife self-defense specialist. And those schools that don’t have security systems are looking into getting them. What’s more, locked vestibules with buzzers, two-way radios, and stronger or bullet-resistant glass and surveillance cameras are also among measures being considered.
For example, in the small school district of New Hartford, Connecticut, after years of unlocked front doors and casual conversations about some day increasing school security in the small school district, Superintendent Philip O’Reilly isn’t wasting another minute. “Cost is no longer the priority. Keeping kids safe is the priority,” he said.
Prior to making changes, it’s recommended that school districts start with a school security assessment. Schools need to determine exactly what their biggest shortcomings are before moving ahead with implementing changes. They need to look at everything – from written practices to their physical security devices and emergency plans.
At Caitlin-Morgan, we provide comprehensive insurance programs for educational institutions, including a risk management assessment to help mitigate losses. Please give us a call at 877.226.1027 to help you provide your clients with an educational insurance plan specific to their educational institution.