Students, Staff Threat Response Training Scheduled
Posted by Sandra Lyon, Ed.D. on 12/1/2017
The health and safety of our students and staff has been and will always be our number one priority in the Palm Springs Unified School District. That hasn’t changed. What has changed in recent times are the number of incidents and threats to schools and other entities that involve guns and other weapons. We are constantly working to improve and enhance our safety protocols. And as a result of the increase in reported gun violence in and around school campuses, we have an even greater urgency to provide threat response training for both staff and students that addresses the potential situations that could occur.
To that end, PSUSD has partnered with Safe Kids Inc., a team of law enforcement and education experts, who have developed a curriculum that teaches these responses in a non-threatening manner. It is called the H.E.R.O. program (Hide! Escape! Run! Overcome!) Two parent information meetings on the program were held last month to provide an overview of the program, which presents safe-thinking skills and empowerment strategies through age-appropriate games, stories, classroom discussions, journaling and student-parent discussion. This school year, students at all of our elementary schools and a portion of our middle schools will be presented with the training. We will be providing training for the staff at the remainder of our middle schools, high schools, and Early Childhood Education sites during the spring of this year.
The student presentations will take place after each of our teachers go through a two-hour training next month in which they will begin to better understand the concepts of violent intruder survivability and their role in safeguarding their students and themselves in the event of an active shooter on campus.
We have, of course, measures in place to provide the best security possible for our students and staff. We also know that, despite security measures, perpetrators can sometimes still find their way onto school campuses despite the best security practices that are in place. Therefore, it is our responsibility to make sure that our students and staff members have as much information and training as possible to respond appropriately in the unlikely event of a violent and/or threatening situation.
We invite you to explore the H.E.R.O. program further by visiting their website,SafeKidsIncorporated.com. You can also call our Student Services Department at (760) 416-6027 for more information. Thank you for your continued support.