Authors’ note: As a police chief and a high school principal, we worked together with the support of Dr. Emily Lembeck, a visionary superintendent, for nine years to ensure our school’s safety in an urban-suburban Georgia town. In the wake of the most recent school shootings, we feel compelled to share some essential best practices for immediate consideration as schools move forward into the 2022–2023 school year.
Over the last two years in America, we have experienced the COVID pandemic, extensive and divisive political turmoil, and widespread violence. In totality, these events have caused various degrees of apathy and distraction in communities and schools. As we were preoccupied with the overarching issues dominating the headlines, the unthinkable massacre in Uvalde, Texas, shook us from our malaise and created calls for action. We must now accept that responsible school and police leaders need to regroup, set aside any lingering ideological or political differences, and acknowledge that securing our schools is not only crucial but also transcends political discourse. School and police leaders must, in good spirit, collaborate to create and nurture an ecosystem capable of saving our schools from future atrocities. In this blog post, we will start with the essentials that you can act upon immediately. Read more