BLUEPRINT FOR EFFECTIVE SCHOOL SAFETY MEASURES….Part 2
“No amount of gun control measures or the “hardening of schools” (whatever that means) will be as effective in protecting students and saving lives, as a teacher who is trained to respond with calm and control during a live-shooter situation”……Teddy Crawford
“ Any person, who wants to hurt any of my students, MUST GET PASS ME FIRST”
In the spring of 1999, I stood in front of a 6th grade class in Jackson Heights, New York, and made the above statement.
Not an original idea; except maybe in the context of teacher-to-students; and it calmed their anxiety resulting from news that a “Bad guy” was loitering in the vicinity of the school compound
Days after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, the Principal at the Bridgehampton School District, (where I was teaching at the time), and myself tried in vain to calm the nerves of the students during an assembly. Like everyone else in the northeast at the time, they were scared that something terrible was going to happen to them.
We mentioned all that the authorities were doing in order to ensure their safety: increased police / military patrols on the street, in the air, on the sea. Students were still jittery; unsettled.
Then, Fred Coverdale, the principal (ex-army veteran) walked to the door of the classroom, and signaled for me to join him. (He knew about my pre-teaching experiences in law enforcement/ the martial arts /personal safety – coaching etc.)
With our backs to the door; he put his hand around my shoulder and addressed the assembly:
“ Boys and girls, anyone coming to get you has to get past me and Mr. Crawford first”
That had a calming effect on the students.
I am not trying to sell the idea that we were super heroes, and could do better than the combined capabilities of law enforcement / military.
What calmed the students down was the presence and promise of not one, but two teachers who they believed would stand between them and harm; there and then!
It is unfair to expect teachers to do more than what they have done so bravely during violent attacks in schools all across the country. After all, their job description did not include taking on gunmen firing high –powered rifles. They deserve a lot of credit, Since they will always be at the forefront if and when someone attacks the school,
SOMETHING (ELSE) (not more) NEEDS TO BE DONE!
Every forward thinking school administrator/ principal/ director should consider bringing in experts and specialists in the field, to conduct TRAINING AND WORKSHOPS at regular intervals throughout the school year, that will:
PREPARE TEACHERS TO REACT / RESPOND (with a reasonable level of control) UNDER HIGH STRESS / POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING SITUATIONS.
Current school safety measures [everyone from the mayor down to the most recently hired school kitchen staff know what those are], MUST be improved: adjusted, re-worked, upgraded, changed as necessary to take into account the violent /vicious nature of attacks on schools in recent times.
NB: I do not support arming teachers. Greater tragedies will result from that in the long run. [My opinion]
Thanks for reading. Please share with family, friends and your PTA Rep! Read part 1 at: @TeddyCrawfordOfficial
Please go to: www.teddycrawford.com to download for free a chapter of my book RIGHT FOOT FIRST…[A practical guide to personal safety, wellness, awareness and keeping fit for life], read my blogs on PSM [Personal Safety Mindset] and the complete line of coaching / training services available to participate in the effort to make schools a safe place for children again.
Next week: Part 3 of BLUEPRINT FOR EFFECTIVE SCHOOL SAFETY MEASURES.
Right Foot First Initiatives
I’ve spent over a decade in law enforcement, seeing hundreds of crimes and talking directly to criminals about why they target certain victims. And now I’ve dedicated myself to bringing this message to the world, to
stand against the cycle of fear and violence by teaching self-awareness and confidence.