School safety protocols are initiated by police in the event of a potential or direct threat to student safety. An understanding of each type of protocol is invaluable for students, staff and parents.
The first type of protocol is called a Shelter in Place protocol. A Shelter in Place is initiated when there is a potential threat to student safety off campus. For example, local police may require a school to initiate a Shelter in Place if there is police activity in a nearby neighborhood, or if there is some form of hazard near the school.
During a Shelter in Place, students and staff are brought inside the building and all exterior doors are locked. School activities are allowed to proceed as normal inside the school. Unless otherwise directed, parents and visitors will not be allowed on the campus until the protocol is lifted.
If there is a threat to student safety on campus, a school may be placed on Lockdown. This protocol requires all students, staff and approved visitors to move to the nearest room and lock the door.
There are many reasons why a school could be placed on Lockdown. Suspicious activity on or adjacent to the school campus may warrant extra precautions to keep students and staff safe. Additionally, situations inside the school may cause a Lockdown.
Most classroom lessons and activities are allowed to continue during a Lockdown, but the door will not be opened for anyone. Emergency personnel will knock and announce themselves before unlocking the door from the outside.
A Lockdown with Cover is initiated if there is a direct threat to student safety on the campus. As with a regular Lockdown protocol, all students, staff and approved visitors will move to the nearest room and lock the door. Once inside a room, students and staff will take cover out of sight.
This protocol is initiated as quickly as possible when law enforcement or school administration perceive a direct threat to students and staff, such as a burglary or an individual looking to cause harm.
RUN, HIDE, FIGHT
In addition to these protocols, there are certain events require dynamic actions beyond established plans.
In a situation where someone is actively seeking to cause harm on the campus, staff members will use situational awareness to assess the circumstances as best they can.
Using this information, they will lead students to either:
RUN – if a clear path escape if available;
HIDE – if the attacker seems near or escape is not feasible;
FIGHT – as a last resort if confronted
State and federal law enforcement agencies encourage use of Run, Hide, Fight for schools and businesses during unpredictable situations where someone is looking to cause harm. In Granite School District we employ our own 20-member police force to ensure a greater law enforcement presence at schools and significantly decrease response times.
Communicating to Parents During a Protocol
Communication during emergency situations will occur as quickly as possible. All available forms of relaying messages will be used, including automated phone systems and district social media.
Please make sure your contact information is up to date with your school. Let the front office staff know if you change your email address, cellphone number or home phone number. Automated messaging systems pull contact information provided by parents and students.
As phone messages require time to setup, record and disseminate, parents may see social media notifications before receiving a direct phone call or email message.
It’s important to remember that information will not be relayed until all students are safely accounted for, and all information is accurate.