School board members and superintendents typically focus their safety planning and preparedness measures on school campuses, but they often overlook security and emergency planning for administration centers, board meeting sites and support facilities.
Today’s climate of economic uncertainty, school budget cuts and the growing politicization of education issues create a new level of risk for the adults running districts. Failure to take reasonable preparedness measures can lead to increased risks and the potential for greater liability.
Administration buildings typically house board offices, superintendents, human resources staff, special ed staff, student services and expulsion hearing officers. “Two of my greatest concerns are safety considerations during employee termination processes and recognition that critical situations can occur at any time at school board meetings,” says John Weicker, director of security for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Community School District.