Presentation on theme: "School Tragedies A Perspective on Lessons Learned"— Presentation transcript:
1 School Tragedies A Perspective on Lessons Learned Rick J. Kaufman, APRCrisis Response Team LeaderColumbine High School Tragedy
2 A Perspective on Lessons Learned A Visual Remembrance A Time to Remember, A Time to HopeDispelling the Columbine Myths The Truth Behind What HappenedWhat Did We Learn?
3 A Perspective on Lessons Learned A Leadership Test Response defines the organization; be credibleA Communication Test Foundation for planning, response & recoveryA Professional Test Emerging as a leader & key adviser
4 A Perspective on Lessons Learned In preparation…If you start off behind, you will stay behindBeing proactive only keeps you evenIdentify chain of command for decision-making, what to do if it breaks downSite, district plans must have contingenciesCrisis plans must be specific, automatic, tested
5 A Perspective on Lessons Learned In preparation…Establish inter-agency protocols in advanceProvide parents/students advance notice of crisis plan, their role in the processKnow who to call; trust in the folks who have the expertise in dealing with crisis
6 A Perspective on Lessons Learned During the crisis…Mobilize response team to shield the site, students & staff from outside forcesMake call for assistance before it’s too lateUnderstand it’s not “business as usual”Act in short-term, think in long-termYou need soldiers, generals on front linesKnow key messages and stick to them!
7 A Perspective on Lessons Learned During the crisis…Don’t let media dominate your time, attentionStay focused on target audiencesInternal communication is more importantView crisis from “outside in” to gauge publicAnticipate external political, personal agendasPrepare for ripple effect and copycats
8 A Perspective on Lessons Learned During the crisis…Maintain active rumor controlBalance privacy rights of individuals (FERPA) with public’s right to knowUnderstand law enforcement have other standards for releasing information that may be protected by FERPA, organizational policiesBe firm on media access to facilities, people; no favorites
9 A Perspective on Lessons Learned In the aftermath…Crisis has long-term lifeRemember healing processes and triggering eventsBrace for blameContinuously update crisis plan; learn from other situationsTrain new staff immediatelyRetrain all staff annually; don’t forget students
10 A Perspective on Lessons Learned In the aftermath…Crisis not only creates character, but reveals itSeek opportunities to return to normalSeek closure and commemorateTake care of yourself and your teamBring in reinforcements