School Safety: Our Most Important Responsibility Essay

School Safety: Our Most Important Responsibility Essay

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On Wednesday January 5, 2011 a Millard South High School student walked into his high school armed with a gun. The boy had been suspended from school earlier that morning. He signed in at the office and proceeded to the assistance principal’s office. Within 4 minutes, office staff reported hearing gunfire. The student had shot the assistant principal and the principal as he tried to intervene. He continued to shoot, taking aim at a school custodian and then at a security officer as he fled the premises. The school’s resource officer, hearing the gunshots, responded, but the student was gone. Police found his car in a nearby parking lot. He had taken his own life (Lincoln Journal, 2011).
The aforementioned incident deeply impacted students, staff and community members around the school district. It created a sense of insecurity in a school community that had always felt relatively safe. And yet, as shocking as it was, many school districts around the nation are dealing with similar tragedies. Within the last 15 years, acts of violence in schools have become more extreme and often times, deadly. Because the violence continues to become more unprecedented, administrators and school district personnel undertake the lofty responsibility of providing a safe learning environment in schools for all students and staff. Standard 3 of the Educational Leadership Policy Standards states “An education leader promotes the success of every student by ensuring management of the organization, operation, and resources for a safe, efficient and effective learning environment” (2002).
Although a majority of schools remain relatively safe, districts and communities see any amount of violence as unacceptable. The Centers for Disea...

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...ety 2011. 43, 486. doi: 10.1177/0013124510380717
Lincoln Journal Star. (2011). The Millard South Shooting Timeline. Lincoln Journal Retrieved from regional/nebraska/article_ef16c15d-c67e-54b5-b4fa-0742edc6085d.html
National Policy Board for Educational Administration. (2002) Standards for Advanced Programs in Educational Leadership. Retrieved from

National Center for Educational Statistics U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010
(NCES 2011-002), Retrieved from
National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. (2009). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2009 Retrieved from

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