dON’T THINK THIS WON’T HAPPEN AT YOUR CENTER.
A week after a ministry had been through the KidTrek Training they had to go into lock down. An escaped convict chose their apartment building as his hiding place. They could hear sirens, police bullhorns, SHOTS FIRED – the kids were safe and calm huddled in the hallway. They played concentration games while they waited.
Drive by shootings, intruders, assaults, intrusive domestic violence and other criminal activity.
There are many situations that could occur that involves human deviant behavior. In these cases the police are usually called and deadly force may be involved.
Every city by now has had to shut down a school and keep the kids inside while the police dealt with a suspect in the immediate vicinity. In some cases suspects have run into schools and after school facilities to elude police. It will be the responsibility of the Center Director to make sure that training is provided for the staff so that if an incident does occur they will know immediately what to do.
In most cases when such incidents occur, it will be necessary for the Center to have an exact plan that involves a lock down. An evacuation is used for fires and bomb threats, but evacuation is not usually safe in the situations listed here. We must know how to lock down our facility and know where to go in our facility and still be able to talk to the police by telephone.
The following are initial steps to help develop a comprehensive safety plan.
√Identify the incident that you might encounter.
√ Make a list of all of your concerns at your center if such an incident occurred.
√ Make a plan that addresses your concerns.
√ Seek help to determine appropriate responses to variants in the situation.
After you have made a plan, develop some alternative plans to deal with the unexpected. This can be done in a brainstorming session with your staff.
It is important that your staff feel safer after you have developed the plans. If your staff feels more afraid, vulnerable or nervous, then they are telling you that they still don’t know what to do should something happen.
Kids are great. Knowing what to expect will keep them calm when they are in the middle of things. Let them choose the games they will play while they sit and wait. Who will be in charge of prayer?
After you have plans in place it will be necessary to run a drill often enough that the staff and kids feel safe.
The drill should be simple.
- “OK kids, today we are going to practice staying safe in our building. We will pretend that we can’t go outside, but have to stay inside to avoid a danger. So we are going to tell and show you what to do, and then we will practice what we will do.”
- That is all you need to say.
- Don’t talk about gang violence or other threatening situations.
- Keep it simple and the kids will believe that you are going to protect them because you are prepared.
CRIMINAL ACTIVITY –
Kids should be prepared to:
- Follow directions of the staff
- Know the pre-designated hiding places.
- Stay quiet and follow directions until given an all clear by the staff.
CREATE YOUR PLAN