Let’s continue our discussion of the critical skills for school staffs by starting with the first statement about recognizing and dealing with potentially violent incidents.
I can recognize the signs of a potentially volatile situation and I have been trained in ways to prevent escalation of the incident.
There is the tendency to assume that you’d recognize someone acting aggressively or violently. This is true- but the more important question is: can you recognize the signs before the violence occurs? A person may be acting suspiciously or something just may not seem right as a precursor to the act itself.
Does your school have the means to adequately screen visitors and/or identify potential intruders? Buzzer systems or security cameras are beneficial in this process, but they are only the first line of defense. Every person in the building has the responsibility to engage (not confront) with unknown persons as an additional means of screening. Visitor screening training is vital for those staff members who control access to the school. Threat assessment training gives staff members the skills to rapidly assess and evaluate the level of threat posed by a given individual.
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