KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A school safety expert gave a presentation for staff members at Kent Intermediate School District Monday to address how to prevent and be prepared for school shootings.
Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut is a nationally recognized expert on school safety. She is a published author and is an associate professor of criminal justice at State University of New York at Oswego.
Right now, she's studying school lockdown drills, how they affect students and staff, and how to make them more effective.
At the presentation, Schildkraut said school shootings can be prevented with the right safety plans in place.
"First, that these shootings are incredibly preventable. You know, I think that as a country, we're very resigned to them just being part of our culture. But these are events that can be prevented," Schildkraut said. "And then also, the reality is that not all of them will be prevented. So how do we make sure that we're ready to respond?"
She emphasized that schools should implement school safety plans that are backed up by research, instead of plans that "feel right." She also said schools should stay aware and continuously be prepared.
"Don't ever say it can't happen here. I think, you know, that is a phrase that we want to believe but it's not reality. It's unlikely that it will happen, but it still can. So we just need to make sure that we're always prepared," she said.
Schildkraut said often it's the simple things like locking the classroom door that saves lives. She said gunmen often have just a few minutes and are looking for easy targets. If a door is locked, she says they're more likely to move on.
Learn more about Schildkraut here.
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