Virginia Tech. Northern Illinois University. Louisiana Technical College. Delaware State University. These schools vary widely, but they will be forever linked as campuses that have seen on-campus shootings. Most campus safety experts agree that such incidents can take place anywhere, and they also agree that a common set of emergency preparedness policies and procedures should be in place at every college and university. But findings of a new study suggest that many institutions lack the key elements of a preparedness policy seen as necessary to prevent, respond, and recover from "mass casualty events," Inside Higher Ed reports.
The author of the study, Tammy Curtis, an assistant professor of radiologic sciences at Louisiana's Northwestern State University, examined the publicly available emergency preparedness plans of 40 two-year and four-year colleges that have accredited programs in her field to see how closely they mirrored recommendations made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Education Department's Emergency Response and Crisis Management Technical Assistance Center. Of the plans she was able to access, just 29 percent had evacuation plans, 32 percent had policies for reporting suspicious persons or activities, 18 percent had procedures on how to handle an active shooter scenario, and a mere 7 percent had written policies on how to help students experiencing psychological distress.
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