Are we remembering our school employees that are not classroom based when we provide emergency training and information? Unfortunately, at many schools we are not including these employees in this valuable training.
It's understandable. After all, the kitchen needs cleaned after lunch, the maintenance staff is busy cutting grass and the district administrative office is taking care of business... meanwhile the classroom-based staff and their students are benefiting from valuable life-saving training. That needs to stop. Here are few reasons why:
1. All employees deserve equal treatment. We not only have a moral obligation to make sure all employees are benefiting from this training; we also have a legal obligation. All employees are equally important, and the courts typically don't differentiate between people and their job titles. If we are offering training to a classroom teacher on how to respond to a violent person they encounter in the hallway, we owe that same training to the custodian who walks those halls every day, or the receptionist at the district office who greets the public every day and is probably even more vulnerable to that type of threat than a classroom teacher.
2. Our support staff plays a vital role in responding to an emergency. As more schools embrace the concepts of run, hide, fight, and empowering individuals to decide how best to respond to a crisis, our support staff becomes a critical part of the plan. Some teachers may barricade into a room while others flee with their students. As students begin to flow out of a school and move to rally points, it's the non-instructional staff that can often arrive at the rally points to care and account for the fleeing students even before a teacher arrives. It's the guy from tech or the maintenance person that first observes the unusual person in the parking lot or the smoke coming from the closet. These employees are the extra set of eyes, ears and hands that we need when trouble starts.
So next time you are planning all hazards training, be sure to include all your employees so everyone can benefit from the information. This is John Baker for safetysolutions4schools.com Image is courtesy of www.dailymail.com.uk.