The actual act of violence (the “bang,” if you will) is only the start of the incident.
While the initial act will last for a short period of time, its impact will be long-lasting. The Washington Post estimates that since the Columbine school shooting in 1999, more than 215,000 students and teachers have been impacted by these types of events.
With this understanding, SAFE was developed considering the full cycle of an event; our training gives prevention and recovery the same weight as event response. The result is a program proven to help participants develop strategies that enable them to recognize pre-attack indicators and methods to deescalate hostile situations, the understanding of active shooting events and the development of strategies to mitigate their effects, and the development of mechanisms to help those impacted by an event recover and heal.
The culmination of our efforts is Security Awareness for Education, or SAFE. The capacity building component of SAFE is the culmination of years of research and continual review. We took the development of the program to heart as we were working to create a safer environment for today’s students – our future – and those charged with preparing them for it. Recognizing that school administrators, teachers, students, and the broader community all play unique roles in keeping students safe, we worked with stakeholders from across these four groups as well as subject matter experts to develop SAFE to address the unique needs of each audience.
Our school safety and security efforts cover a wide range of topics that revolve around helping school communities strengthen their efforts in four key areas: prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
The saying goes, “it takes a village,” and the KTG SAFE schools team completely agrees. In an effort to ensure the information we deliver to students during the SAFE program is reinforced after they leave school, we have also designed engagements that include the broader community in the school conversation.
The highlight of our community engagements is a KTG moderated panel discussion that brings together elected officials, school representatives, and law enforcement with parents and the broader school community to discuss school safety. This event allows the community to learn about the goals and methodology of the SAFE schools program while affording them the opportunity to hear from, and ask questions to, the participants.
The KTG SAFE schools team recognizes those throughout a community that have a vested interest in the security and safety of schools is broader than the staff, the students, and the parents of those who attend it. The SAFE Schools stakeholder engagements are designed to foster partnerships and wellness throughout the community. These initiatives include, but are not limited to, working with:
- Elected officials
- Law enforcement
- Medical first responders
- Faith-based organizations
- Youth groups
- Local retail