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John Huber


Administrators Better Pay Attention to the Information From Hearings and Trials of the Uvalde and Parkland Shootings

Administrators better pay attention to the information coming from hearings and trials stemming from the Uvalde and Parkland shootings.  Much of it is centered on failures of not just law enforcement but of school personnel, specifically administrators.

The Texas house of representatives recently issued an 81-page interim report detailing the Uvalde shooting. The very beginning of the report states:

“While the school had adopted security policies to lock exterior doors and internal classroom doors, there was a regrettable culture of noncompliance by school personnel who frequently propped doors open and deliberately circumvented locks. At a minimum, school administrators and school district police tacitly condoned this behavior as they were aware of these unsafe practices and did not treat them as serious infractions requiring immediate correction. In fact, the school actually suggested circumventing the locks as a solution for the convenience of substitute teachers and others who lacked their own keys.’

This is a clear and direct accusation against the administration of the school.

As of this writing, the trial of the shooter in the Parkalnd Florida shooting is proceeding.  In this incident, accusations of lax security on the part of the school are common.  In addition, they cite improper handling of various special education procedures.

The final report of the commission on the Parkland shooting summarized the following:

“The causes include Cruz’s mental and behavioral health issues, people not reporting warning signs or reporting signs that were not acted on by those to whom actionable information was reported, and how Cruz’s behavioral and discipline issues were addressed (or not addressed) by Broward County Public Schools. Also contributing, was the overall lack of adequate or effective physical site security and unenforced or non-existent security measures and policies at MSDHS, as well as the ineffective behavioral threat assessment process at MSDHS.”

The physical site security they cite includes gates that did not properly operate, safe zones in classrooms that were loaded with junk, no PA system in the hallways and more.

The theme is common.  There were procedures and policies in place to help recue the possibility of such an event and they were not properly implemented.  Who does this fall to?  The administration.

It appears there are movements in place to hold them accountable.  According to the reports, a variety of safety violations were reported and then subsequently ignored.

In the Uvalde shooting, doors were routinely left open and unlocked.  The topic of debate revolves around if and/or when administrators were told about the problems with the doors and whether they responded appropriately.  There are accusations of teachers propping doors open and administrators showing no concern.

So, what does this mean for administrators and other K12 officials?  It simply means that the policies that are on paper need to be implemented.  If not, it may cost you your job; or more!

We must also keep in mind that school officials are educators and not safety experts.  Due to this, we have seen school districts fail miserably.  Consider Baltimore County and their crippling cyber-attack.  It is becoming more and more difficult for systems to be everything to everybody.

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The MEN was founded by John Huber in the fall of 2020. It was founded to provide a platform for expert opinion and commentary on current issues that directly or indirectly affect education. All opinions are valued and accepted providing they are expressed in a professional manner. The Maryland Education Network consists of Blogs, Videos, and other interaction among the K-12 community.