Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Houston and Dallas. What do those school districts have in common? Threats of terror. Monday marked the third anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. And of course it’s been only three weeks since the deadly shooting in San Bernardino.
What do we do when we’re faced with what feels like a barrage of threats? And how do we tell fact from fiction?
Ken Trump, a school security consultant with the National School Safety and Security Services, says in their study, about 30 percent evacuated and about 10 percent shut down, many times unnecessarily. With the Los Angeles case, he says we should examine the basis and motivation for shutdown.
“We take a look at, first of all, determining the credibility of the threat,” he says. “It’s not always the credibility or lack of, of the threat – it’s the pressure, potential backlash and anxiety in the community that’s causing school administrators to divert from best practices.”
Administrators often close schools to appease parents, he says. “That could put kids in a less safe situation, when they’re out on the streets,” Trump says.
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– What general rules go into assessing a potential threat, including how the details of a threat factor into its credibility
– How a threat can be deemed non-credible
– What parents should tell their kids and how administrators should address these situations with parents