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Thursday, July 13, 2006

How schools can handle terrorist threats

Schools should develop heightened security procedures in the event of terrorist threats, ranging from the potential use of car/truck bombs to biological attacks. says schools should take these measures:

* Train teachers and support staff and evaluate, refine and test school security plans
* Encourage staff to maintain a heightened awareness for suspicious activity and report it, including suspicious vehicles, persons and packages on school grounds
* Provide special attention to perimeter security, including clearly defined perimeters with fences and gates and designated parking areas for visitors. Monitor parking lots and establish routine inspections of buildings
* Review staffing and supervision plans, with adult supervision of all areas
* Maintain a proactive effort of visitor access and control
* Verify the identity of service personnel and vendors visiting the school
* Evaluate security measures at school transportation facilities
* Secure access to utilities, boiler rooms and other maintenance facilities
* Evaluate food and beverage service stock, storage and protection procedures
* Assess school health and medical preparedness
* Conduct a status check of emergency communications mechanisms, such as two way radio units and cell phones
* Review procedures for mobilizing mental health services for students and staff in the event of a crisis