A critical ingredient in the safe school recipe is the uniform classroom response to an incident at school. Weather events, fires, accidents, intruders and other threats to student safety are scenarios that are planned and trained for by school and district administration and staff.
Historically, schools have taken this scenario-based approach to respond to hazards and threats. It’s not uncommon to find a stapled sheaf of papers or even a tabbed binder in a teacher’s desk that describes a variety of things that might happen and the specific response to each event.
SRP IS ACTION BASED
The Standard Response Protocol is based not on individual scenarios but on the response to any given scenario. Like the Incident Command System (ICS), SRP demands a specific vocabulary but also allows for great flexibility. The premise is simple – there are five specific actions that can
be performed during an incident. When communicating these actions, the action is labeled with a “Term of Art” and is then followed by a “Directive”. Execution of the action is performed by active participants, including students, staff, teachers and first responders.
These specific actions can act as both a verb and a noun. If the action is Lockdown, it would be announced on public address as “Lockdown! Locks, Lights, Out of Sight.” Communication to local Law Enforcement Agency would then be “We are under Lockdown.”
Each response has specific student and staff action. The Evacuate response is always followed by a location: “Evacuate to the Bus Zone.” Responses can also be chained. For instance, “Evacuate to Hallway. Shelter for Tornado. Drop, Cover and Hold.”