When The Shooting Stops: Recovery From Active Shooter Events For K-12 Schools
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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Since Columbine, untold resources and planning efforts have been dedicated to active-shooter response by schools and public safety officials. Perhaps this is as it should be, but the almost exclusive focus on response has come at the expense of recovery. Active-shooter events were studied to identify and analyze gaps in recovery planning and operations. Research suggests that a comprehensive K-12 recovery plan with a phased approach would have enabled a faster and smoother recovery. There are no federal requirements for such a plan, and fewer than two-thirds of the states require a crisis plan for schools. The most important elements of active-shooter recovery for K-12 schools were determined evacuation,relocation, and parentstudent reunification counseling and mental health therapy funerals and memorials post-incident staff reduction, suicide awareness, communication with non-English-speaking students and families, and donation management. Based on the lessons learned from six active-shooter incidents, steps are recommended for the successful, immediate, and national implementation of recovery planning for K-12 active-shooter events.