Whitecaps

Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Name:
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Report: School Districts' Emergency Planning

There are no federal laws requiring school districts to have emergency management plans. However, 32 states have laws or policies requiring school districts to have them. It will come as no surprise to residents of northern Idaho that our state is not among them.

It isn't as if there is no funding available. The Departments of Education and Homeland Security provide funding for emergency management planning in schools.

To get some idea of the nationwide status of school districts' emergency planning and preparedness, read the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study released May 17, 2007, and titled Emergency Management - Status of School Districts' Planning and Preparedness.

2 Comments:

Blogger DanG said...

Maybe I'm clueless, but doesn't this just ring of a duplication of effort? I mean, law enforcement exists, health districts are established, so what this reads to me as if the Feds just have oodles of money to throw at "homeland security" so they're doing to duplicate the existing efforts of LE and health districts by creation some quasi-police/health force for schools to contend with? I hope I'm reading that wrong.

Schools should teach. Already they're under so much pressure to act as social agents for the state and babysitters for the fed. Now because of the money shift into the DHS, they're going to require schools to essentially be their own governments with their own defense forces? Pardon me, but "that seems ludicrous!"

4:40 PM, May 31, 2007  
Blogger Bill McCrory said...

DanG,

Most people make a serious mistake believing law enforcement and public health agencies are omnipresent and capable of dealing with issues such as school district emergencies. What I find most disgusting is that particularly the police tend to encourage that thinking with a, "We're prepared to handle any emergency, anywhere, anytime," attitude. They're not even close to being prepared to prevent incidents like the Virginia Tech homicides. Nor will they ever be so prepared. The police are reactive.

I think DHS hopes that the piles and piles of money they are throwing at private security consultants and contractors will enable schools to be better prepared to minimize casualties until the emergency responders arrive. People should be very upset at the money DHS is wasting on look good/feel good cosmetic emergency mitigation efforts.

At the same time, I'd agree that properly done, prior coordination between schools and first responders (police, fire, medical/health, etc.) may be helpful in minimizing deaths and injuries due to emergencies. Just as we can't expect first-responders to instantly resolve the emergency, neither can we allow school officials to say, "It's their problem, not ours." Parents should not accept passivity from school districts.

7:26 PM, May 31, 2007  

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