Tragic school shootings in which multiple students or faculty have been killed or injured in a single event, as well as terrorist threats to homeland security, have heightened the real need for crisis and emergency preparedness planning. As demonstrated by past events in Texas, Connecticut, Ohio, Delaware, and Virginia, tragedy can strike any school in any location and remind us that although these incidents are isolated events, our nation's schools remain vulnerable and susceptible to violent attacks.
Now more than ever, Jewish school administrations must consider in their long-range safety planning the possibility of violence and focus on areas such as target hardening for school facilities, visitor access to the school, building evacuation, lockdown and interior and exterior site factors, and threat-specific responses.
Effective preventative strategies, well-designed emergency plans and consistent post event measures may help schools recover quickly and return to being safe and stable learning environment. The effectiveness of a school safety plan is measured in the lives of children, faculty, and administrators that are left unharmed in the event of an incident of school-based violence, an accident, a natural disaster, or other hazard.