Evacuation procedure is another vital area of rigorous policy formulation, protocol and practice. Who orders it and what process is followed to ensure that children are safeguarded during a movement from a dangerous area to a safer one is vital. We can all recall those poignant photos of that defining day when crying children who held onto each other in single file were led away by brave teachers.
Some practical devices are essential too. Security cameras, locks, safety doors and windows with sensible security check-in procedures are the basics. There is also a relatively inexpensive device called the Durkin Door Latch that allows a classroom teacher to quickly lock a door without the need for keys or any action of turning a lock.
With focused effort and the will to work together in collaboration with law enforcement officials, fire departments and school security personnel, we can at least reach a level of enhanced safety for our children that was not the norm for most schools in the past.
Advocacy is the act of lending a voice to those who don’t have one. The children in our public schools should be the focus of our new advocacy and rebirth of public calls for enhancing protection of our public buildings and schools.
If we achieve this as a society we will provide a splendid legacy to the innocents who lost their lives on one of the darkest days in recent memory.
Joe D’Amore writes from Groveland.