School Safety and Lockdown Drills

With the start of schools, I am concerned about the possibilities of school violence.  In my latest book, “Creating Safe Schools: A Guide for School Leaders, Counselors, Teachers and Parents” I indicate that the best recourse for schools is to be prepared.

According to the Education Commission of the States, more than 20 states require lockdown or similar types of drills, and 30 states require schools to have broader emergency plans.

Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services recnetly gave an interview in the New York Times which included his comments about school security and emergency crisis plans.

How many yearly lockdown drills do you recommend?

We recommend schools conduct a minimum of two lockdowns per school year.

What are the biggest weaknesses you see in the lockdown drills?

Far too many school administrators still will not conduct lockdowns during lunch period, because doing so is more of an inconvenience to adults and keeping lunch periods moving forward. Yet lunch periods can span across several hours each school day, meaning that some schools will never practice a lockdown for 20 to 30 percent of their school day.

What’s the most common thing that tends to go wrong during lockdown drills?

While the majority of students and staff tend to treat drills seriously, one of the most common concerns we have is when some individuals choose to not do so. In particular, it creates quite a safety hazard and a serious concern to us when staff and/or students talk during a lockdown drill.

I will be speaking at a number of conferences about safe schools, if you are interested in having me speak at your school/district or conference, feel free to contact me at [email protected]