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Video: Do Students and Staff Know What To Do During a Violent-Emergency?

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2020
1 page
In this 4-minute video, Joshua Hendrix, a research scientist at RTI International, discusses a 3-year NIJ-funded study that assessed what students and staff in 10 U.S. schools knew about the emergency procedures in their school safety plans; identified main knowledge gaps; and highlighted characteristics of schools, students, and faculty members that might be related to their understanding of school security procedures.
This study was conducted because research has regularly indicated that almost all schools have some type of safety plan; however, little is known about what typical teachers, school counselors, school principals, and other school personnel know about what is in the school security plan and procedures, which will determine whether their decisions and behavior in an actual emergency will comply with the security plan and procedures. The study identified confusion among school students and staff about which security procedures relate to various types of school security threats. The terminology in security plans can also be confusing, such as the features of a "shelter in place" procedure and when to use it. The study also found that there is sometimes a disconnect between what is being communicated in training and education and what is in the written security plan. Another finding is that school students and staff anticipated that others were familiar with the security plan and would provide them with instructions and direction should an actual security threat occur. They do not feel a personal responsibility to become familiar with school safety procedures. Non- instructional staff, such as those who work in maintenance and cafeteria services, were often uninformed about what actions they should take under various threat scenarios.

Date Published: June 1, 2020