Author Topic: Kids in School and Response Plans  (Read 6832 times)

Offline wtxd

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Kids in School and Response Plans
« on: September 15, 2010, 12:51:20 PM »
Ever since school started back this year I have been concerned about response planning for my kids.  They are not allowed to carry backpacks in school and they have to share lockers.  I really want them to have some kind of mini documents pack with important numbers and "get home" plans but don't know which way to go at the moment.  Anything you might be doing with your kids is appreciated!

Thanks,
wtxd

edit: archer: fixed title
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 10:50:51 AM by Archer »

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2010, 01:52:48 PM »
is this no backpacks allowed in the school (as in to and from school), or just from class to class?  can they carry a "day-planner" type of binder?  can girls carry purses?  what about a small thumb drive with info on it?  that wouldn't be immediately accessible, but might help in some situations.


as for what we do... we home school   :)

Offline Leonidas

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 04:24:47 PM »
Would a simple "Bum Bag" or "Fanny Pack" as I think you guys in the US call them do.

Offline Imperial Goat

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 04:18:46 PM »
Hi WTXD,

I'm responsible for security and emergency management for a large (32,000 students) public school division, so hopefully I can help a bit.

First, a couple questions...

how old are your kids?
walk, ride bikes, school bus, drop off/pick up?
No backpacks at all, or just not during the day - can they use them to and from?
How about a lunch box or bag?
Do they carry a wallet or purse?
Can your kids share a locker with each other instead of a random kid?
How big of a school - rural, suburban or urban environment? - How big of a school district?
Do your kids have any medical issues or special needs?
How's your relationship with the principal?

Answer these for me and I can have a better idea of how to steer you.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2010, 05:42:58 PM »
...as for what we do... we home school   :)
We also home school. This solves many problems on many levels.

Offline PAGUY

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2010, 06:04:34 PM »
Well what I have done with my daughter (13) is put various info in her cell phone and I have her carry it everywhere with her.  She has it on silent during class but when school is out she turns it up.  She checks it on a regular basis for txt and has even sent a few to me while in school. 

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 06:16:13 AM »
I work as a substitute teacher at our local elementary school and also substitute for the regular office lady when she is gone. I was in the office this week while she was away, and one of my jobs was to update and produce this year's Specific Crisis Manual. This 25-page notebook covers what staff and teachers are to do in the event of all sorts of emergency situations. It might be worth it to ask your school if they have such a manual and if they would share it with you (I don't know why they wouldn't). That way, you would know what kinds of plans the school has in place and can coordinate your kids' plans with the school plans. There is nothing that will freak out a teacher more than having a couple of kids going their own way when the teacher is trying to collect and account for all the students under her care. And as a parent, you would want to know what the off-site safe areas are in case the school is forced to evacuate.

It might also show you where the holes are--not every plan is perfect.

I substitute teach is a couple of different schools. I always carry my own emergency pack with me which includes red and green cards that I can slide under my door out into the hallway if we're in lockdown for some reason--green means we're all okay, and red means we're not. As soon as I get to a new school, I try to find out what the procedures are for fire and earthquake drills, where the nearest exits are, etc.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010, 10:34:21 AM »
For docs and contact info seems easy enough to make a credit card size laminated card with important info, phone #'s, allergies, etc. I think I started carrying a wallet when I was around 5th grade or so...

I am sure they have a notebook / binder - inside front or back cover could be a place to put information.

Offline Imperial Goat

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Re: Kids in School and Response Planst
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2010, 05:52:24 PM »
Hi WTXD,

I'm responsible for security and emergency management for a large (32,000 students) public school division, so hopefully I can help a bit.

First, a couple questions...

Well, let's see if I can help...

Like most of you have offered, it really depends on the age of the kids.  A laminated card in the wallet, lunchbox, or even on a dog collar chain (no choking hazard b/c it breaks) around the neck is great for younger kids.  Older kids can get the same card in the wallet, maybe pre loaded in the cell phone.

Ensure you have multiple people approved to pick up your kids.  Friends and relatives who may live closer to the school and can get them if SHTF and you can't.  Maybe keep a scaled down 72 hr kit at those peoples' home for your kids.

If they drive or ride a bike, there is more room for some emergency gear.  Be very careful with things like knives in the kits and be sure that your school system would allow such things.  Most don't.

If it is a smaller school, it could be good to voice some concerns to the principal and get a peek at the crisis plan.  Some will claim it's secret, but really, most around the country are mostly the same.  See if they use codes or plain talk for emergencies (plain talk is much better-kids are smart, and codes may freak them out more).  See if they stress to the teachers that "lockdown" does not mean hide in the dark waiting to be executed and that they empower teachers to do what is best to save the most lives.


DodgeTruck Mom - I really appreciate the effort you apply to keeping your charges safe - I wish more full time teachers and administrators would take it as seriously - but then again, you are here on TSP with us and they are not, so that just adds to your positives!  Regardign teh Red/Green cards - I am phasing them out in my schools.  Same thing with pulling the shades or blinds in the classrooms.  It is hard to get them to change their robotic responses.  I discussed it with the SWAT team for my city and they agreed with my logic.  In an active shooter situation, they will ignore any cards and move to the gunfire.  Clearing a building in the aftermath, they will treat all rooms the same, as if there might be another shooter or hostage in there.  The cards can, however, show the bad guy that there is someone in a room, and thus, a potential target.  We now tell teachers to keep the blinds open during a lockdown.  If the bad guy is in a room, we want the police (sniper hopefully) outside the building to see him in the room.  If the threat is outside the building (say a fleeing bank robber in the area or something) we go into a modified lockdown and draw the shades, keeping kids confined to the rooms, but continuing with classes.

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2010, 06:00:08 AM »
Quote
Regardign teh Red/Green cards - I am phasing them out in my schools.  Same thing with pulling the shades or blinds in the classrooms.  It is hard to get them to change their robotic responses.  I discussed it with the SWAT team for my city and they agreed with my logic.

Interesting food for thought! I will pass that along to the school board and principal and see what they have to say. At least our administration seems open to reviewing and revising the plan every year. Nothing worse than a dead plan that sits in a drawer somewhere.

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2010, 06:26:45 AM »
While reading the thread I thought about making the laminated card, and placing it under the sole of your shoe. You could possibly fit 2 or 3.

Offline Imperial Goat

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2010, 04:20:36 PM »
While reading the thread I thought about making the laminated card, and placing it under the sole of your shoe. You could possibly fit 2 or 3.

That's a great idea for the very young.  Easy to make a card or two for each pair, so you don't have to worry about changing them.  I think it would only work for shoes with removable insoles.  Might be a blister causer otherwise.

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2010, 11:39:02 PM »
Thanks for the compliment Goat, coming from you with your job that means something.

Offline Lawyerman

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 10:46:13 AM »
This may rankle some but I have told my kids to leave the campus if anything happens. We have a pre planned rendezvous point for each kid with "supplies" on site. The most likely scenario that I see is a school shooting though.

99% of the school emergency plans that I have seen are "lockdown and shelter in place"....this should be "lockup and die in place". It's no plan at all.  In the time it takes for an emergency team to arrive and "stop" the shooter there will be dozens dead. We have seen it over and over again.

I liken it to shooting a covey of quail. I'm a good shooter and when I bust a covey, I'm lucky to get 2-3 birds- that's on a great day, often it's only 1. If they were kind enough to just sit under a bush and let me unload my shotgun on them, I'd kill them all. They understand this and survive by knowing that in that situation flight is their best bet- and so it is for my kids as far as I'm concerned.

Offline PAGUY

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 05:53:19 PM »
If they are able to get away that is great but, they might have to go past the adversary to get away and that is not a good thing.  When your kids are in school the school is responsible for them and if they go running off they are not able to provide any level of protection.  The best plan that schools are able to come up with is most commonly a protect in place plan.  This is not always the best thing but, it does work if done properly and completely.  There is merit to your plan and I support that but, it is not always a plan that can be followed.

Offline Bloodyboots

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2010, 10:16:49 PM »
Couple of quick thoughts, we have Kids Bobs in each of the trunks of everyone authorized to pickup the girls. Each of our girls has an "Emergency" kit in their cubbyhole in their classroom, while it looks mostly harmless. There is a couple of laminated pages under the "floor" of the packs with contact info and basic medical details (blood types, allergies, and types of meds) and the homemade looking snacks are really calorie rich energy bars...just in case.

Most of the school bags have some kind of hard "floor" that is removable for cleaning. Usually its just a piece of cardboard in a vinyl sleeve. Pull the cardboard and replace with laminate of your plans, contacts etc, slide back into vinyl sleeve and presto hidden info! We even include a "split" page of laminate with a ATM card buried down between a pair of pieces of paper. The laminate disguise the profile of the card and the paper hides the colors. The girls have the number memorized, and they know we check it once a month for activity!


Offline Lawyerman

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2010, 06:45:45 AM »
If they are able to get away that is great but, they might have to go past the adversary to get away and that is not a good thing.  When your kids are in school the school is responsible for them and if they go running off they are not able to provide any level of protection.  The best plan that schools are able to come up with is most commonly a protect in place plan.  This is not always the best thing but, it does work if done properly and completely.  There is merit to your plan and I support that but, it is not always a plan that can be followed.

The school cannot provide any protection for your kids against a man with a rifle. We've seen that time and time again. Only someone who is armed can provide any real protection and unless you have an officer on campus-it's forbidden under Federal Law for anyone to be armed. The one exception was Pearl, Mississippi- the principal produced a .45- from his cars glove box, and ended it.

Just about a month ago I attended "open house" at my kids school. Every class that he has has an exterior window. If someone is coming down the hall with an AK etc... I told my son to use a chair to smash out the exterior window and haul butt. I told him not to listen to his teachers.

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2010, 08:49:56 AM »
Quote
If someone is coming down the hall with an AK etc... I told my son to use a chair to smash out the exterior window and haul butt.

That assumes that your son knows exactly where the threat is coming from and in which direction it is heading, which I highly doubt. How would he have access to that information in that kind of situation? In a lockdown situation, our teachers are told only to lock the door, turn out the lights, and place the children in a spot in the classroom where they cannot be seen from the hallway or the outside windows. They may not be told where the gunman is (if his location is known). And they may be told to go into lockdown mode even if the gunman is still outside, in which case your son has just given the gunman a way into the school as well as putting himself and others directly in harm's way.

And what if your kid's friends decide to go with him, because he tells them that you told him the school can't protect him? Are you prepared for that additional responsibility? What if one of them gets hurt or killed as a result?

If you think the school is incapable of protecting your child, why don't you homeschool?

My experience with parents is that the ones who think they know everything about the educational system are the ones who have never spent any time in a classroom (and I mean during teaching time, not during Open House).

Offline Lawyerman

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2010, 10:00:49 AM »
Ma'm with all due respect my children have spent enough time around weapons to know what the muzzle blast of an AK is and that it's not a normal school time activity. Guns make noise, people screaming  and crying make noise, busting glass and breaking doors make noise...... If that noise is coming from someplace then you know where NOT to be.

As far as what I know about schools and their ability to protect children let me give you a list-

Pearl Mississippi 1997, two dead, seven wounded

Red Lake Indian Reservation, 2005, Ten dead, 14 wounded

Columbine, 1999 13 dead, 21 injured

Bath Township Disaster, 1927, 45 dead, 58 wounded

Virginia Tech, 2007 32 dead- Wounded?????

University of Texas, 1966 16 dead, 32 wounded

Amish School Shooting, Nickle Mines Pa, 5 dead, 5 wounded

Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal Canada, 1989 14 dead, ??? Wounded

Dunblane Scotland, 1996 17 dead, ??? Wounded

Jonesboro Arkansas 1988, 5 dead, ???Wounded

Beslan Massacre, 2004- 300 dead, ???Wounded

Stockton California, 1989- 6 dead, ?? Wounded

University of Iowa, 1991, 6 dead ?? Wounded

Lindhurst High School, California, 1992, 4 dead, ??? Wounded

Northern Illinois University, 2008, 6 dead

How much bandwidth do you want me to use up? I can literally go on for PAGES.....

Again, ma'm with all due respect, the track record speaks for itself. Nobody can protect you except YOU, not the schools, not the "authorities"-- not anyone. When the rubber meets the road, you're on your own, that's the way it's always been. I carry a gun because it's too heavy to carry a cop and when seconds count the cops are only minutes away. It's that simple.

As far as other kids go- they aren't my kids and in that situation, mine are all I care about. Harsh? Yes it is but that's life. If other parents don't care enough about their kids to educate themselves and their children as to what to do in an emergency situation, it's not on me.

I choose to send my sons to a public school because it has many advantages, my children are in gifted and talented programs and the access to labs and specialized knowledge that I am simply un equipped to give them is great. Also, the odds of a school shooting happening are fairly remote. It happens much more often that we like to admit but is still relatively rare in the grand scheme of things. Like all things "prep" I have balanced the risk with the rewards and that calculation- especially with the instructions and training my kids have favors them attending where they do. Have I prepared for the possibility of an all out nuclear exchange? Yes, I have.....but I had 6 months worth of cash on hand and a paid for house before I worried about it.

That's where I'm coming from.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 10:09:59 AM by Lawyerman »

Offline dodgetruckmom

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2010, 04:01:36 PM »

Quote
Ma'm with all due respect my children have spent enough time around weapons to know what the muzzle blast of an AK is and that it's not a normal school time activity.

That's assuming (again, a lot of assumptions) that a gun has gone off. Sometimes lockdown orders are issued just on the basis of someone suspicious being in the building. Again, if your son has not identified the exact threat and its location (inside? outside? how many shooters? who is the gunman after?), how will he know that what you've told him to do is the correct course of action?

Quote
As far as other kids go- they aren't my kids and in that situation, mine are all I care about.

Well, all I can say is that I hope your kid is not a class leader and the kind of kid that other kids look up to and emulate, because if he does the wrong thing at the wrong time, he may be the cause of other people getting hurt, whether you want to be responsible for that or not.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.

Offline Lawyerman

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2010, 07:48:35 AM »
That's assuming (again, a lot of assumptions) that a gun has gone off. Sometimes lockdown orders are issued just on the basis of someone suspicious being in the building. Again, if your son has not identified the exact threat and its location (inside? outside? how many shooters? who is the gunman after?), how will he know that what you've told him to do is the correct course of action?

Nothing is certain in life, we make the best decisions we can with the knowledge and information that we have- both of which are always imperfect. All I know is that time and time again gunmen have gone into schools and made them slaughter houses and that to just sit there waiting for them to blow the door open and gun you down makes little sense to me.


Well, all I can say is that I hope your kid is not a class leader and the kind of kid that other kids look up to and emulate, because if he does the wrong thing at the wrong time, he may be the cause of other people getting hurt, whether you want to be responsible for that or not.

My sons are both leaders. They are intelligent, accomplished and assertive young men. Both hold the rank of Brown Belt in TKD and are working on their first belt in Brazilian Ju Jitsu. They train under this Grand Master-http://amarillo.com/stories/032710/mor_16186081.shtml  - In over 30 years as an instructor he has awarded less than one black belt a year. My sons will have attained that rank before they are out of middle school-they train 4 days a week. More than once their Master has called them "Warriors",  the highest compliment that he can give a student.

Their discipline allows them to excel at most anything they do. Both are in AP classes and consistently maintain an A average. The oldest is a UIL competitor in both Extemporaneous Speaking and Oral Interpretation. His brother will likely follow in his footsteps in a few years when he is eligible.

Both have attained the rank of Rifleman as Appleseed participants (there's plenty of adults that don't make the cut), the eldest is a member of the Texas State Choir and a local boys choir that performed at a Festival Mass at the Vatican last year. The youngest at 10,  is also a member of the local boys choir, they will both be performing under Bob Chilcott at Carnegie Hall this February.

http://amayouthchoirs.org/

They have both spent many days afield and can start fires with a bow drill, navigate by the stars, read sign, we've shot the Royal Gorge together in a Kayak and summited Wheeler Peak more than once. They've both hunted since they were 6 and have killed a half dozen deer apiece and countless wild hogs. If other people get hurt, it won't be because "my kid got them hurt". It will be because their parents didn't care enough to do for them what I have done for my kids and that isn't on me.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this topic.

Yes ma'am, we will.

Offline emptymag

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Re: Kids in School and Response Plans
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2010, 02:06:19 PM »
I have to agree with Lawyerman.

Only my youngest son still lives at home (a boat actually).  He went from elementary school many miles away to middle school about two miles away and now to high school only about a mile away (with no body of water to cross this time).  Each time further from work but closer to home.  On each occasion I have briefed him on what to do in a disaster.

Physical safety - immediate
regulate body temperature - immediate
clean water - 1 day
food - 3 days

If he found that the school was unable to provide this for him, he was to leave with sheer disregard for authority if necessary.

His elementary school and middle school also prohibited carrying of backpacks.  Thankfully he didn't have to share a locker.  I took full advantage of that and made sure his backpack was a walking BOB.  Fortunately this year all he has to do is walk the one mile (down hill with no snow storm :-) ) to the boat. 

One he gets home he is sitting on our way prepped BOV