Lethal Violence Prompts School Crisis Management Plans

“One of the most serious problems that school administrators face today is the increasing level of lethal violence in schools,” says Sam Houston State University’s Fred C. Lunenburg. Writing in the National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal, Lunenburg argues that “it is essential for school administrators to be prepared” for incidents such as the Columbine High School massacre.

In his article, Lunenburg presents nine steps that should be in every school crisis management plan. He starts with forming a school-wide crisis management team and goes through conducting ongoing, school-wide safety audits, drills, discipline plans and emergency policies.

Students must have a means to communicate information to staff in a crisis, the article says. And they must also be taught alternatives to violence in settling disputes.

A list of characteristics that can be used to identify students at risk for violent behavior is also given as part of a guide jointly developed by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Education.

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