Maryland’s K-12 schools serve as a hub of educational, social, and emotional growth for our youth. They also support a wide range of community and extracurricular activities inside the school buildings and on school grounds. Resources relevant to assisting K-12 school administration and teachers in understanding how to prevent, prepare for, and respond to an active assailant incident are featured below. This list is not exhaustive, and the AAIWG does not endorse one particular response strategy. These resources serve as a starting point for strategic planning and evaluation of your individual school or school system’s needs.
An overview of behavioral threat assessment practice in Maryland’s public schools, applicable to students, staff, and visitors to the school grounds.
A summary of a U.S. Department of Justice grant-funded research project on the implementation and outcomes of behavioral threat assessment teams and practices across multiple school systems in Virginia following the mandate for implementation in 2013, the efficacy of those programs on early intervention and prevention of harm to self or others, and recommendation on additional training and technical assistance to improve the behavioral threat assessment process.
This organization was founded by parents who lost children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown CT. It is a national non-profit school safety advocacy and resource center that provides research-based tools and support for crisis prevention, response, and recovery.
Official information from the Maryland Center for School Safety. This site offers an anonymous and free reporting system that is available to anyone who wishes to report any school or student safety concerns. It has the number to the tip line, the link for an online form, and the ability to download the Safe Schools Maryland app from the App Store or Google Play.
Official guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education. This site offers the guidelines created to assist local school systems and schools in developing new plans and in reviewing and updating existing plans. The planning process includes identifying and analyzing hazards in the school and community and taking measures to mitigate those hazards.
The Standard Response Protocol developed by the “I Love U Guys” Foundation is action-based, flexible, and easy to learn. It rationally organizes tactics for responding to threats to student safety. Its development is ever-evolving, created with extensive collaboration between experts such as first responders, school districts, and families. Its tactics are data-driven, researched, and based on experience and best practices.
One of the best ways to increase a person’s likelihood of survival when severely injured during active assailant incident is to quickly stop severe bleeding. Coworkers can provide initial life-saving measures. The Stop the Bleed® site provides resources on how to organize an in-person training, life-saving strategies and posters, instructional videos, and aid kits to place in common areas.
This site is the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools’ Technical Assistance Center. It contains several sections on school Emergency Operations Plans and what they should include to minimize loss of life as well as teach and train best practices.
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation with the Ohio School Safety Center within Ohio Homeland Security, has developed the K-12 School Active Aggressor Tabletop Exercise Toolkit. This toolkit was adapted from material provided by Cuyahoga County’s ReadyEx initiative. This free exercise resource is designed to help primary and secondary school staff, first responders, and other partners prepare for an active aggressor event. Some laws, protocols, etc. may be different from Maryland to Ohio.
This video created by the Sandy Hook Promise presents a scenario that creates thought provoking insight into signs of a possible active assailant in a school environment but can be as relevant in other locations. Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit organization formed in Newtown, CT, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The organization aims to stop gun violence and emphasizes knowing the signs that can lead to violence.
Training video and web-based training course created because life-threatening emergencies can happen fast, and emergency responders aren’t always nearby. These injuries can require immediate action to prevent an injured person from dying, so those nearest to someone are best positioned to provide first care.