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No Fear; Prepare

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With the mass shootings and terrorism happening in our world and communities, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and show hard emotions toward those who perpetrate such atrocities. Our emotions run high and we want payback. Right? . . . Wrong!

In the classroom, we need to put such strong retaliation aside. Teachers should not fear the enemy; we should prepare:  make safe emergency plans, organize calm drills for practice, assess, and learn from other incidents to adjust our emergency plans. Teachers, more than other group, should know 'you can't predict what will happen in any given situation.' Our children need to know we are calm and will do all in our power to protect them.

As a principal of a PreK-6 school, I was responsible for about 750 children. My staff and community had a plan for all kinds of emergencies, including an invasion within my suburban school. We knew every entrance, exit, tunnel, and problem area in the school. Did I know if our plans and knowledge of the building would stop or prevent a bad situation? No. But we were prepared, and our students had practiced and knew what to do in all kinds of situations.

Our teachers had knowledge and skills to face emergencies with calmness. That's what we need. That's what our children need . . . to know their teachers and school staff are calm, prepared, and composed. Those qualities will be emulated by the students.  And if an emergency arises, children, teachers, staff, and principal will be prepared as best as possible.

In this world where is much happening, let's make our classrooms as safe and calm as possible for our students.


Verneita R. Hunt

Associate Director, Human Resources

Granite School District (91 Schools, K-12)

Salt Lake City, Utah

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