School violence is a widely misunderstood issue that breeds contention and fear in educators, parents, and the community. When horrific tragedies occur, school officials, parents, and the community tend to do one of two things: underreact or overreact. Underreacting comes from the mindset of “this couldn’t happen here” and suggests complacency. Overreacting leads to calls for excessive security measures, including a movement to arm teachers. Balanced plans that prepare students and staff for emergencies while avoiding traumatizing them are the ones that keep schools the safest.
Thoughtfully and meticulously plotting every step of a school violence and crisis prevention strategy is relevant now more than ever. To get started, we have to answer this question: What is the goal of your school violence plan? Here’s how to determine your answer.