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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding School Safety

Can Indiana educators carry a firearm on school property if they have completed a ‘Gun Safety’ program?

Answer
Persons may carry only under the conditions set out under IC-35-47-9-1 

Note: In Indiana, under IC 35-47-9-1 a school board or a ‘body’ that administers a charter school may authorize an individual to carry a firearm on school property.

  • There are many commercial ‘gun safety programs’. However, few if any prepare an individual to respond appropriately in an ‘active shooter’ situation. An insufficiently trained individual may very well complicate an ‘active shooter situation’. Arriving law enforcement may mistake the individual for the person perpetrating the ‘active shooter event’. The Indiana State Police Department supports a policy of allowing only an ‘Academy Trained /Sworn’ law enforcement officer to carry a firearm on school campuses.

Since we are reviewing our ‘Bullying Policies’, I am interested in finding additional statutory information on the subject.

Answer
IC 20-33-8-13.5 may serve to provide the statutory framework.
  • The Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy frequently provides presenters on this topic. You may wish to check the Indiana Department of Education website.

Where can I find information on the requirements for the Indiana School Safety Specialist training?

Answer
IC 5-2-10.1-9 may serve to provide the statutory framework. Related resources include the following:
  • The Indiana Department of Education Website
  • Stephen Balko or Ryan Stewart may also provide information on the Academy.

As we develop and review our safety plan, where may I locate information on the statutory requirements for an ‘Emergency Preparedness Plan’?

As suggested in the Indiana State Police presentations we are developing a ‘Legal Framework Section’ for our school safety plan, where can we find statutory information on the ‘Crisis Intervention Plans’?

Answer
511 IAC 4-1.5-7 – ‘Crisis Intervention Plans’
  • Remember the ‘Crisis Intervention Plan’ includes both Crisis Intervention and Crisis Management Provisions

Where may I find some statutory information on ‘School Safety Drill’ requirements for Manmade, Tornado, and Fire Threats?

Do you have sample copies of ‘Memoranda of Understanding’ between local law enforcement and the school corporation?

Answer
Sample MOU’s may be found on the Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy website.
  • Dr. Bernie James’ ISSSA presentations may provide an additional resource.

We had a suicide attempt in our district last year. As a result, we are reviewing our policies relating to suicide prevention. Do you have a resource on the subject?

Answer
Written policy information: (IC 20-26-5-34.4)
  • Additional information may be found by going to the Department of Education's website link

Who is the contact person at the Department of Homeland Security for tracking our Secured School Safety Grant?

Where can I find the rubric for the Secured School Safety Grant Program?

Answer
Location of the Rubric:
  • Kim Snyder or Tayler Workman will have this rubric
Contact Information:

Taylor Workman, Grant Coordinator
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
Office: 317-232-3133

Kim Snyder, Grants Management Section Chief
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
Office: 317-234-8929

In the ‘Active Shooter’ presentations, it has been suggested that a ‘Satellite Police’ station be established on school campuses to increase the presence of law enforcement. Can you elaborate?

Answer
Establishing a Satellite Police is a simple process; these are the steps that must be taken in order to establish a Satellite Police:
  • One of the first steps is to facilitate a meeting with local law enforcement and the school corporation’s legal counsel to establish a MOU/local agreement governing the process.
  • A room should be provided that has electronic capabilities.
  • It is critical that school corporations and law enforcement set out the specific activities that will be conducted at the ‘satellite station’. No activity should be conducted that would bring threats to the ‘satellite station’. The activities typically are filing reports, meeting with other law enforcement officers, or related activity.

We are in a rural setting. What free programs can be accessed to increase police presence on our campuses?

Answer
The ‘Indiana State Police Walkthrough Program’ provides an opportunity for Indiana State Police troopers to visit your campuses. The program is free and can be schedule through your local Indiana State Police Post. Create opportunities for local and state law enforcement to participate in your building level educational and extracurricular activities. Inviting law enforcement to participate in these activities will aid law enforcement in the process of becoming familiar with the floor plan of your building. (Note: IC 5-2-10.1-12: This statute sets out information on sharing building schematics with law enforcement).

The following activities are opportunities that schools may utilize:
  • Invite local and state law enforcement to lead a classroom discussion
  • Invite local and state law enforcement to breakfasts/lunch and other academic events to introduce them to large groups of students and staff
  • Establish a Satellite Police Station (see question # 12 for suggestions)
  • Invite them to attend extracurricular events (not just sporting events i.e. plays, graduation ceremonies, honors programs, etc.)
  • Invite them to simply visit your campuses

Are there any State or Federal ‘Agencies’ that perform comprehensive safety risk vulnerability and or threat assessments (with a written final report setting out their recommendations and solutions)?

What are some of the basic items we may look for when examining a quote for a Comprehensive Risk, Vulnerability and or Threat Assessment?

Answer
Questions that may be asked to examine an assessment quote
Note: A common shortfall occurs when the assessment is only a ‘facilities assessment’ rather than a ‘comprehensive threat assessment’.
  • What are your qualification (qualifications of the individual/vendor that will lead the assessment)?

  • Can you provide contact information for organizations you have assessed (references)?

  • In your assessment process, do you meet with a cross section of school community members to become educated on the unique needs of our school community?

  • Do you hold orientation meetings to enable members of the school community to better understand the assessment process?

  • Do you train school community member on the assessment process to enable them to participate on the assessment team?

  • Have you modified your assessment tool to meet the unique needs of our school community?

  • Does your assessment tool look at policies, practices, procedures, drills, and programs as well as the physical plant?

  • A facility assessment deals primarily with the physical plant and most often represents an examination of the components of the physical plant only. The facility assessment is a subcomponent of the ‘Comprehensive Threat Assessment’.

  • Policies, practices, procedures, drills, programs etc. should not be omitted from the process.
Training on the hiring process, standardizing the hiring (interview procedures, background checking procedures, criminal history process/procedures, drills, staff development, goals, mission statement, etc.) are just a very few of the components of a ‘Comprehensive Risk/Threat/Vulnerability Assessment’.
  • Did they request that your legal counsel participate in the process?

  • Did they meet and discuss the legal foundations of the process with your legal counsel?

  • Do they have plans to meet with representatives of the school community (students, teachers, parents, administration, local and state first responders, SRO, Local Clergy, etc.)?
  • As a final product are you going to receive a written document that identifies vulnerabilities and provides solutions to address threats/risks?

  • Will the vendor meet with the School Board, school community groups, educators, etc. to discuss results?

  • Will the vendor assist in developing a staff development program, policies, drills, program revision, etc. that will address the identified concerns?
Legal Disclaimer:

This list covers several areas; it is not a complete list of all components and services that may be found in a comprehensive risk, vulnerability and\or threat assessment. This is only an aid to assist school personnel in examining the assessment services proposed in the quoting process. The list shown above is not a complete list of items that should be examined when conducting a Comprehensive Risk, Vulnerability and or Threat Assessment. These are simply suggestions and or considerations that may be taken into account when you are beginning the assessment process and examining formal quotes.

Can the Secured School Safety Grant be used for a ‘Comprehensive Threat/Risk Assessment’?

We use the fire alarm for fire evacuation, severe weather and emergency lockdown situations by leaving the fire alarm on sending a constant signal for fire emergency; turning the alarm on and off providing short ‘bursts of sound’ for lockdown; and turning the alarm on for five second burst and off for five seconds for notification impending severe weather.Is this a good practice?

Answer
The Indiana State Police and Indiana Department of Education do not recommend this practice

Recommendations for Alarm Usage:
  • It critical that a clearly distinguishable warning method be used for each emergency situation! Additionally, it is equally critical that clear signals be used which are unique to the specific emergency.
  • When individuals are placed in high stress situations, fine motor skills, thought processes, etc. are diminished. Easily comprehended and distinguishable signals are necessary for successful usage of alarms in schools or school corporations.
  • It is also critical that drills be developed and conducted to test and hone the response skills of all individuals in the facility.

We use the fire alarm for fire evacuation, severe weather and emergency lockdown situations by leaving the fire alarm on sending a constant signal for fire emergency; turning the alarm on and off providing short ‘bursts of sound’ for lockdown; and turning the alarm on for five second burst and off for five seconds for notification impending severe weather.Is this a good practice?

Answer
The Indiana State Police and Indiana Department of Education do not recommend this practice

Recommendations for Alarm Usage:
  • It critical that a clearly distinguishable warning method be used for each emergency situation! Additionally, it is equally critical that clear signals be used which are unique to the specific emergency.
  • When individuals are placed in high stress situations, fine motor skills, thought processes, etc. are diminished. Easily comprehended and distinguishable signals are necessary for successful usage of alarms in schools or school corporations.
  • It is also critical that drills be developed and conducted to test and hone the response skills of all individuals in the facility.

If I want to schedule an Indiana State Police ‘Unarmed Response to an Active Shooter Event’ program, who should I contact?

Answer
The Indiana State Police recommend the following actions:
  • Review the Indiana State Police Active Shooter Preparedness website: http://www.in.gov/isp/3191.htm
  • Schedule a Presentation: http://www.in.gov/isp/3255.htm

How much will an ISP ‘Unarmed Response to an Active Shooter Event’ program cost?

If I want to schedule an Indiana State Police ‘Unarmed Response to an Active Shooter Event’ program, who should I contact?

Answer
The Indiana State Police recommend the following actions:
  • Review the Indiana State Police Active Shooter Preparedness website: http://www.in.gov/isp/3191.htm
  • Schedule a Presentation: http://www.in.gov/isp/3255.htm

Is the Indiana State Police ‘Unarmed Response to an Active Shooter Event’ program provided to students, instructional staff, support staff and parents?

Answer
The program is recommended for all adults in the school community and community at large.
  • Some school corporations have made the decision to provide the program to senior high school students. Choosing to incorporate senior high school students would be a local decision made after a discussion among all members of the school community.
  • The age of the audience is a local decision but the program was developed for adults.

I would like to develop a program for my transportation specialists. Can you direct me to a site where I can review and schedule the program?

Answer
The Indiana State Police recommend the following actions:
  • Review the Indiana State Police Active Shooter Preparedness resources: http://www.in.gov/isp/3191.htm m
  • Schedule a Presentation: http://www.in.gov/isp/3255.htm

In the ISP presentations, it was mentioned that ‘traffic flow’ may be a critical issue in the loading/unloading zones for buses. What measures would you recommend for improving the safety in these areas?

Answer
Note: A plan for law enforcement and or administration assistance maybe necessary to prevent bus traffic, pedestrian traffic, student-parent-staff vehicle traffic, delivery/vendor traffic, etc. from mingling with bus traffic.
  • Ask law enforcement to review the traffic pattern around schools, in loading/unloading zones and parking areas (including ECA areas).
  • Traffic must be segregated from other forms of traffic with signage and enforcement.
  • ECA areas where fan buses, ECA teams, etc. are loaded and unloaded are often not included in the safety review plan for transportation.
  • Designated ‘parking areas’ for students parking
  • Designated ‘parking areas’ for staff
  • Designated area for ‘student drop off’
  • The goal is to segregate bus traffic from all other forms of vehicle traffic and prevent traffic from mingling with transportation traffic.

In the ISP presentations, several critical items are mentioned that should be in the ‘Safety Kit’ for classroom teachers and bus drivers. Our educators and bus drivers do not have ‘Safety Kits’ that resemble the ones described. Can you please give me some direction regarding the items that may be included in the ‘Emergency Kits’ for educators and ‘transportation specialist’?

Answer
The Indiana State Police recommend the following:
  • A good starting point to gather information may be found on the FEMA, US Department of Education, and United States Department of Homeland Security ‘Emergency Kits’ websites.
  • The Indiana State Police recommend that schools develop these kits in cooperation with the corporation’s legal counsel, medical personnel (school nurse/physician), ‘Emergency Responders’ (EMT), School Resource Officers, Administration, Classroom Teachers, Support Personnel, etc.
A key to developing an appropriate ‘Emergency Evacuation Kit’ is to:
  • Ensure the Emergency Evacuation Kit is developed to support the unique population for which it is expected/intended to support. Classroom teacher’s ‘Emergency Evacuation Kits’ will vary depending on the unique needs of the students in the various classrooms.
  • Ensure that the contents of the kits are driven by the needs of the population that the kit is intended to support.
  • Remember to involve the corporation legal counsel in the process
  • Various job descriptions within the school district may require unique ‘Emergency Evacuation Kits’ (i.e. kits for transportation specialists, classroom teachers, administration, support personnel, nursing staff, etc.). These kits may vary depending on the unique needs and responsibilities of the individuals for which the kits are designed.
  • Parent Teacher Organizations in some schools have been utilized to assist in offsetting the cost of developing these kits.
I drive a bus on extracurricular field trips. Should I have information on the students (and ECA Sponsors for that matter)? If so, can you give us an idea of what information I need?
Answer
Yes, you should have information on individuals on the bus. Please see Question 26 for more information. Legality to Consider when collecting student information:
  • Your local legal counsel, administration and school healthcare professional should be involved in the process of student information gathering and retention.

    Just as an example: ‘This is not an all-inclusive list’! Any items on this list must be reviewed by you legal counsel!

Information to consider when collecting student information:

You may want to discuss with legal counsel and health care professionals the practice of developing sealed pertinent medical records (i.e. allergies, seizure issues, etc.), sealed insurance information and permission/release forms, etc.

Additionally, you may want to discuss with your legal counsel and health care professionals the practice of developing sealed pertinent medical records (i.e. allergies, seizure issues, etc.), sealed insurance information and permission/release forms, etc.). Lastly, you may want to want to discuss with your legal counsel the wording of a waiver to allow ‘backup’ (relative/neighbor) individuals to assume custody of students if the parent is unavailable.

Student Information to consider obtaining:
  • Full name, grade, building name, legal guardian, contact information for guardian.
  • Some school corporation provide assistance to parents in the form of suggestions that they provide health care, allergies, insurance, etc. information to a backup if the guardian cannot be reached.
  • Information on the unique health needs of the individuals on the bus is certainly a consideration to discuss with your legal counsel.
Further student information and resources to consider obtaining:
  • It may be advisable to have identification/information bracelets, particularly with younger children.
  • Basic nutritional supplies should be included
  • Information should be stored in a transportable kit.
  • Basic first aid information is needed as well.
  • Legal counsel and administration should consult on the development of these kits.
In the ISP presentations, it was mentioned that ‘traffic flow’ may be a critical issue in the loading/unloading zones for buses. What measures would you recommend for improving the safety in these areas?
Answer
Note: A plan for law enforcement and or administration assistance maybe necessary to prevent bus traffic, pedestrian traffic, student-parent-staff vehicle traffic, delivery/vendor traffic, etc. from mingling with bus traffic.
  • Ask law enforcement to review the traffic pattern around schools, in loading/unloading zones and parking areas (including ECA areas).
  • Traffic must be segregated from other forms of traffic with signage and enforcement.
  • ECA areas where fan buses, ECA teams, etc. are loaded and unloaded are often not included in the safety review plan for transportation.
  • Designated ‘parking areas’ for students parking
  • Designated ‘parking areas’ for staff
  • Designated area for ‘student drop off’
  • The goal is to segregate bus traffic from all other forms of vehicle traffic and prevent traffic from mingling with transportation traffic.

In the ISP presentations, several critical items are mentioned that should be in the ‘Safety Kit’ for classroom teachers and bus drivers. Our educators and bus drivers do not have ‘Safety Kits’ that resemble the ones described. Can you please give me some direction regarding the items that may be included in the ‘Emergency Kits’ for educators and ‘transportation specialist’?

Answer
The Indiana State Police recommend the following:
  • A good starting point to gather information may be found on the FEMA, US Department of Education, and United States Department of Homeland Security ‘Emergency Kits’ websites.
  • The Indiana State Police recommend that schools develop these kits in cooperation with the corporation’s legal counsel, medical personnel (school nurse/physician), ‘Emergency Responders’ (EMT), School Resource Officers, Administration, Classroom Teachers, Support Personnel, etc.
A key to developing an appropriate ‘Emergency Evacuation Kit’ is to:
  • Ensure the Emergency Evacuation Kit is developed to support the unique population for which it is expected/intended to support. Classroom teacher’s ‘Emergency Evacuation Kits’ will vary depending on the unique needs of the students in the various classrooms.
  • Ensure that the contents of the kits are driven by the needs of the population that the kit is intended to support.
  • Remember to involve the corporation legal counsel in the process
  • Various job descriptions within the school district may require unique ‘Emergency Evacuation Kits’ (i.e. kits for transportation specialists, classroom teachers, administration, support personnel, nursing staff, etc.). These kits may vary depending on the unique needs and responsibilities of the individuals for which the kits are designed.
  • Parent Teacher Organizations in some schools have been utilized to assist in offsetting the cost of developing these kits.
I drive a bus on extracurricular field trips. Should I have information on the students (and ECA Sponsors for that matter)? If so, can you give us an idea of what information I need?
Answer
Yes, you should have information on individuals on the bus. Please see Question 26 for more information. Legality to Consider when collecting student infromation:
  • Your local legal counsel, administration and school healthcare professional should be involved in the process of student information gathering and retention.

    Just as an example: ‘This is not an all-inclusive list’! Any items on this list must be reviewed by you legal counsel!

Information to consider when collecting student information:

You may want to discuss with legal counsel and health care professionals the practice of developing sealed pertinent medical records (i.e. allergies, seizure issues, etc.), sealed insurance information and permission/release forms, etc.

Additionally, you may want to discuss with your legal counsel and health care professionals the practice of developing sealed pertinent medical records (i.e. allergies, seizure issues, etc.), sealed insurance information and permission/release forms, etc.). Lastly, you may want to want to discuss with your legal counsel the wording of a waiver to allow ‘backup’ (relative/neighbor) individuals to assume custody of students if the parent is unavailable.

Student Information to consider obtaining:
  • Full name, grade, building name, legal guardian, contact information for guardian.
  • Some school corporation provide assistance to parents in the form of suggestions that they provide health care, allergies, insurance, etc. information to a backup if the guardian cannot be reached.
  • Information on the unique health needs of the individuals on the bus is certainly a consideration to discuss with your legal counsel.
Further student information and resources to consider obtaining:
  • It may be advisable to have identification/information bracelets, particularly with younger children.
  • Basic nutritional supplies should be included
  • Information should be stored in a transportable kit.
  • Basic first aid information is needed as well.
  • Legal counsel and administration should consult on the development of these kits.

I also drive a regular bus on daily routes. Should I have the same type of information for individuals on my daily route?

We have a high school of fourteen hundred. We have a ‘Crisis Management Team’ that was established to ‘manage’ a crisis (after it has occurred). Is it my understanding that a ‘standing’ committee or team should also be in place to assist in the early identification of individuals in need of assistance?

Answer
Yes, the group may be termed the ‘Intervention Team’.
  • The team is a standing group that serves to provide assistance and possibly early intervention services to those individuals that are exhibiting ‘Early Warning Behaviors’.
    Remember: Then the first phase of the ISP Unarmed Response to an Active Shooter Event Model is prevention.
    In a school of fourteen hundred, the Indiana State Police Department would recommend that the facility have more than one Intervention Team.
Intervention Team Purpose:
  • The Intervention Team may be a subcommittee or a standalone committee.intervention services to those individuals that are exhibiting ‘Early Warning Behaviors’.
  • Typically these are made up of educators, SRO, local and state law enforcement, health care professionals, etc.
  • These employees are trained on the mission, policies and procedures for governing the committee as well as the Early Warning Behaviors.
  • The committee assists in monitoring the school community.
  • The individuals on this committee must be trained on how to handle and communicate a concern voiced by the individual from the school community.
  • The committee serves as a point of contact for individuals to express concerns.
  • The committee assists in obtaining intervention resources for individuals exhibiting concerning behaviors (i.e. Early Warning Behaviors).
Intervention Team Suggestions:
  • A cross section of employees typically serve on the Intervention Team.
    This section is usually made up of educators, SRO, local and state law enforcement, health care professionals, etc.
  • These employees are trained on the mission, policies and procedures for governing the committee as well as the Early Warning Behaviors.
  • The committee assists in monitoring the school community.
  • The individuals on this committee must be trained on how to handle and communicate a concern voiced by the individual from the school community.
  • The committee serves as a point of contact for individuals to express concerns.
  • The committee assists in obtaining intervention resources for individuals exhibiting concerning behaviors (i.e. Early Warning Behaviors).

I have heard it mentioned in the ISP presentation that the school nurse is often underutilized in terms of staff development activities. Can you elaborate on this view?

Answer
Because the ‘School Nursing Specialist’ is an excellent resource for staff development, you may consider expanding the utilization of the ‘School Nurse’ in the following ways listed below. Equally, because each classroom has students with unique medical, emotional, psychiatric, etc. needs, the you may also utilize the 'School Nurse' in the below manner as well:

Educate, Train, and Plan:
  • Educate staff members supervising students with unique medical, emotional, psychiatric, etc. needs.
  • Develop emergency plans, including 24 hours of medication and treatment equipment, for students with chronic health conditions such as life-threatening allergies, asthmatic conditions, seizure disorders, diabetes, tube feedings, tracheostomies, catheterizations, transferring immobile students from mechanical to portable wheelchairs, transporting immobile students from second to first floor, and emergency electricity source if applicable (students on ventilators) etc.
  • Assign and train staff regarding their role in the triage procedures i.e. training for large numbers of students that are ill or injured (assign roles and practice)
Educate and update staff on basic first aid procedures:
  • CPR Technique Review
  • Typically these are made up of educators, SRO, local and state law enforcement, health care professionals, etc.
  • AED Location and Use
  • Heimlich Method
  • Basic First Aid Procedures
    Note: Staff can receive Professional Growth Points from the IDOE to apply towards license renewal if the training is performed by a Registered School Nurse.
  • Include the Nursing Staff on the Corporation and Building level Safety Teams (i.e. Intervention Team, Comprehensive Safety Team, Assessment Teams, etc.)
  • Include the Nursing Staff in the development of the ‘Evacuation Kit’ content:
    - Stock Emergency Medications
    - PRN (As Needed) Emergency Medications Stored in the Clinic for Specific Students – Epinephrine, Albuterol, Diastat, Glucagon, etc.
    - Water
    - Daily Medications
    - Students with Diabetes – snacks; charged meter and strips; back up insulin, needles and syringes; and copy of most recent insulin formulas (in case unable to charge CGM, cell phone or Pump failure)
    - First Aid Kit and Supplies
    - Hard Copy Binder of Student Information – allergies, medical conditions, emergency contact numbers, list of providers
  • Include the Nursing Staff in the ECA policy development (ECA safety policies i.e. concussion, heat & poor hydration threats, sudden cardiac arrest, managing students with chronic health conditions, etc.)

In the ISP presentation it is suggested that as a component of the ‘Comprehensive Safety Plan’, ‘sample letters’ be included in the written material for school administrators. Can you elaborate?

Answer
In a time of extreme crisis it extremely important to communicate clearly, succinctly and accurately with all members of the school community. With that in mind, everyone must understand that ‘thought processes’ are often impaired when an individual is under extreme stress.
  • Sample letters may be developed ahead of time to assist educators in communicating with various members of the school community.
Examples stored in an electronic format may include but certainly are not limited to:
  • Letters to parents regarding the death or serious injury of a student, faculty, member of the school community and or support staff member
  • Letters in parents address a student suicide
  • Letters regarding a bomb threat
  • Letters regarding a health issue at school
  • Letters relating to substance abuse issues
  • Letters relating to the closing/delays/early dismissal of school due to funeral arrangements
  • Letters relating to an accident at school

In the Indiana State Police presentation, several response options are discussed. I attended a program in which the presenter suggested “just run” if caught in an ‘Active Shooter Event’. By doing so, you make yourself a more difficult target. How would the Indiana State Police respond to this information?

Answer
Running is often a very effective option. Staying frozen in place is often on of the most serious mistakes made by individuals caught in an ‘Active Shooter Event’. A person in motion is typically a more difficult target. However, the Indiana State Police model suggests that individuals should ‘Run Intelligently’. The ISP model terms this process as ‘Escaping Intelligently’. In order to ‘Escape Intelligently’, you must take a safe path to a secure area. If individuals caught in an ‘Active Shooter Event’ simply run blindly, they may very well run directly into the danger instead of away from the threat. If you have viewed the Columbine video this principle is demonstrated as we see the students running one way in the hall and almost immediately reverse their escape path after running into the threat.

The ISP Prevention, Escape, Lockdown, Fight model is a nonlinear. Simply, the ISP model teaches that individuals may exercise these response options in any order. You may Fight, Escape, Lockdown and then continue to Escape. You may Lockdown, Fight, and Lockdown and then continue to Escape. The order in which you exercise these steps is dictated by the external stimuli of the event (the attacker’s actions).

In addition, the ISP program teaches individuals to plan and practice how to exercise each option in the model. Each option is a response to the circumstances of the ‘Active Shooter Event’.

In the ISP presentations, you mention that Extracurricular Events are often overlooked when schools develop their comprehensive safety programs. Can you elaborate?

Answer
Few events in a school year create more soft and vulnerable environments for members of the school community than ECA’s. You have large numbers in an open environment.

Examples of safety considerations to examine:
  • All too often the comprehensive safety plan for severe weather, bomb threat, active shooter attack, etc. fails to address the ECA environment.
  • Signage, public address announcements, etc. on the location of emergency personnel and the location of law enforcement at ECA events are often absent.
  • A coordinated crowd control system with a designated coordinator is absent.
  • Clear and distinctive alarm/warning systems are not present and or tested.
  • Indoor evacuation sites for outside events are not established and published.
  • Highly trained, uniformed and armed law enforcement may not be found in abundance at all ECA events (especially non athletic events i.e. graduation, Board Meetings, school plays, honors programs, etc.).

In some earlier shootings individuals have elected to hide in a utility room, safe room, etc. Should we remain in a hiding place during an active shooter event or attempt to immediately escape?

Answer
The Indiana State Police model is based on the principle that the ‘external stimuli dictates’ the most appropriate response option.

In the "ISP Model," the circumstances of the event should dictate the best response option to exercise. The following ISP Model safety considerations may be examined:
  • Sheltering yourself and others in a safe site may be your best option if the location is secure. The ‘ISP Model’ recommends you should not leave a secure site for an unknown.
  • If you do not know the location of the shooter and you have a well barricaded and secure location, ‘Locking Down’ may be your best option.
    - In the ISP model taking shelter in a secure place is called ‘Lockdown or Locking Down’ rather than just hiding.
  • The best response option to exercise in the ‘ISP Model’ is determined by the circumstances or external stimuli of the event.
Note: The options listed in the ISP Model are nonlinear and may be used in any order and repeated as circumstances change. You may elect to exercise the Escape Option and then the Lockdown Option and the Escape Option again. You may, if you have no other option, exercise the Fight Option and then if the opportunity presents itself, exercise the ‘Escape Option’ via a secure path to a secure area.

How do we know to that it is a first responder on the other side of the door if we are in a secure environment?

Answer
Law enforcement will always identify themselves before breaching the location of victims.

The following are approaches schools or school corporations may utilize to identify or be sure of a first responder's identity:
  • Badge under, visual identification, predetermined identification secured and established by administration, etc.
  • Arriving law enforcement will always have articles of clothing, badges, vests, campaign hats, etc. to identify them.
Note: If in doubt do not open the door or remove the barricade.

In the Indiana State Police Model of Prevention, Escape, Lockdown or Fight, presenters discuss the relationship of the assessment process to the development of the ‘Comprehensive Safety Plan’. What are some of the pitfalls that organizations often encounter as they strive to develop their ‘Comprehensive Safety Program’?

Answer
A ‘Comprehensive Safety Program’ originates with a ‘Comprehensive Threat/Risk/Vulnerability Assessment’. Below are some of the most common factors to consider:
  • Organizations often select an ‘Assessment Tool/Inventory’ and utilize it without modifying it to meet the unique needs of the ‘School Community’ (for which they plan to assess).
  • If an organization selects a ‘commercial tool’, it should be modified to meet the unique challenges faced by the ‘School Community’. Every school or school corporation is different. Members of the school community know the unique challenges they face better than anyone. The Indiana State Police Department believes that members of the school community should be trained in the assessment process and then apply that training in selecting the appropriate assessment tool.
The ‘Comprehensive Safety Plan’ should reflect the unique risks and vulnerabilities identified in the assessment process.The following should be considered:
  • The results of the ‘Assessment’ should drive the development of the ‘Comprehensive Safety Plan’.
  • The ‘Comprehensive Safety Plan’ should reflect the finds of the ‘Assessment’.
  • School Corporations sometimes give up the critical responsibility or ownership to an outside source in the assessment process.

In the ISP program, presenters often speak to the critical roles that training, drilling and revising play in responding appropriately to an ‘Active Shooter Event’. Can you elaborate?

Answer
The Indiana State Police Department believes that you will respond as you have trained and practiced.

In the case of an Active Shooter Event the following statements are often true:
  • Fine motor skills are often diminished and a practiced response becomes critical.
  • Freezing in place and taking no action is a common mistake in an ‘Active Shooter Event’.
  • Training exercises often provide an opportunity to examine or test your program.
Key information to note:
  • Your safety programs are never complete.
  • Programs should be tested and modified as new information is discovered.
    - The information garnered from the ‘testing program’, tabletop exercises should be applied to modify and improve the safety program.

In the ISP programs, presenters speak to the importance of ‘Debriefing Reports’. In my corporation do not utilize ‘Debriefing Reports’. Can you elaborate on the process?

In the ISP presentations, it is mentioned that school corporation resources are often over looked in terms of assisting the local Emergency Operations Center in their emergency process. Please elaborate:

In the ISP presentations, it is mentioned that school corporation resources are often over looked in terms of assisting the local Emergency Operations Center in their emergency process. Please elaborate:

Answer
At a minimum the driver should have an updated list or card containing:
  • Student’s legal guardian emergency contact information.
  • An alternate emergency contact (with guardian’s signature authorizing the alternate contact).
  • Student’s family physician information.
  • Signed medical treatment consent to treat form.
  • Student health related information reviewed by the school nurse.
  • Wrist bands are recommended (especially with elementary students).
  • School administration contact information (administrator on call).
  • Emergency protocol for the driver (actions to be taken in various emergency).

I work in an elementary program. We have a three tiered protocol-lockdown program. If we are in a “Perimeter-Soft Lockdown” where all the exterior doors are secured but students are allowed to walk the halls to go to the restroom or office, I am concerned that someone might shoot through the door and harm one of my students.

Answer
You may wish to consider meeting with your “School Safety Specialist” to discuss a “Singular” approach. Simply, when you lockdown, everyone is secured behind substantial doors and nobody is allowed to walk the halls or enter the building.

Considerations to Examine:
  • The downside of a singular approach is that a school cannot carry on business as usual. However, if we are concerned enough to call for a “Lockdown,” shouldn’t we be concerned enough to take serious action? A “Soft Lockdown” results in glass doors standing as the only barrier between students/staff and the threat. Given that most intermediate and elementary students will open the door for an adult (if motioned to do so), the “Soft Lockdown” option, in reality, may pose no barrier at all to protect students and staff.
  • A second option to discuss with your “School Safety Specialist” might be to establish a first level lockdown some call “shelter in place” which means nobody in or out of the classroom.

Legal Disclaimer

The following list of most frequently asked questions have been compiled by Indiana State Police to provide answers for schools and school corporations.

While the Indiana State Police and Dr. Richard Hogue of Hogue & Associates, Inc. have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information, no guarantee of accuracy or completeness is offered or implied. The Indiana State Police and Dr. Richard Hogue Ed.D. of Hogue & Associates, Inc. do hereby specifically disclaim any liability to any person or entity for alleged harm or damages resulting from the use or misuse of the information contained herein.

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