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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1054||2001||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Safety Science, Volume 39, Issues 1–2, October–November 2001, Pages 83–92
The following paper describes the results of a baseline study to assess the status of crisis management preparedness in public school districts in three southern states in the United States. Self-reported responses were collected by distributing a 22 question self-reporting survey to all school districts and systems in the states of Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. Threats by students were indicated as requiring district team activation by 40% of responding districts. This baseline study indicated that 95% of responding districts have some type of district crisis management plan, 77% have a district crisis management team and 88% have a part- or full-time director designated for crisis situation. While these initial findings sound promising, the low number of districts (less than 50%) self-reporting at least one full day of training in the last year and no full-scale drill is indicative of a very low level of crisis preparedness. This lack of preparedness reported in combination with the relatively high level of crisis incidents, such as student deaths, violence (fights), weapons on campus, and student threats, gives rise for concern, and districts should pay special attention to increasing future training efforts and performing more full-scale drills. Overall, crisis plans should be improved in order to ensure adequate school district crisis preparedness.
Calm, responsible personnel and reactions are vital to the effective management of an emergency crisis affecting a school. Essential to the safety and welfare of every school campus is the preparation and practice of a practical and workable crisis management plan. This plan must incorporate locations and routes for evacuation and sheltering in-place for each school building in the school district or system. Every school district and school within the district should also form and maintain a crisis management team that is competent, capable, and adequately trained to handle an emergency situation. This paper discusses the results of a study designed to assess the current status of crisis management planning in school districts and systems in three southern states in the United States. In 1996, Batsis reported that school crisis events are not unusual. Children in elementary and secondary schools at an increasing rate are likely to experience the death of a family member or close friend, witness a violent death, or themselves be a victim of violence. The increased number of incidences and an increased awareness of such events has compelled school personnel to find new ways of managing crisis situations. With minimal resources allocated to fund long-term crisis prevention programs at the elementary, middle and high school levels, school staff predominantly handle crises as they arise, making decisions in many cases without benefit of a comprehensive management plan. Without a clear and well-practiced plan and without identifying predetermined roles, district and school staff are more likely to respond to school crisis chaotically. Thus, the development, practice, and implementation of a school crisis prevention and management plan, is particularly crucial in supporting the emergency management four-pronged program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. This helps ensure the health and safety of children and adults attending or working for schools within the United States (Batsis, 1996). Kopka (1997) reported that according to the National School Safety Center study, 1995, many emergencies occur each day in schools throughout the country. School crisis situations can range from a child falling and being injured on the playground, to slanderous rumors being circulated about a teacher, to coping with a mentally unbalanced individual entering a school building with the intent of harming children. In each case, school officials must rapidly respond in a manner that ensures the safety of students and staff (Kopka, 1997). Since school crises and emergencies occur rapidly, school officials without a practiced crisis management plan may find themselves dazed, confused, and wondering what to do next. While a sense of disorientation is a normal response to an emergency, school officials who have properly planned for just such a contingency are in a much better position to respond rapidly in an appropriate and sensitive way (Hill and Hill, 1994). Traumatic events can precipitate short-term crisis reactions among school children, whether they occur on or off school grounds. Responses include reactions ranging from sadness and fear to anger or shame; behavioral reactions manifested either as internalizing or externalizing symptoms; relationship difficulties exhibited through withdrawal or anxious attachment behaviors; school difficulties in attention and performance; and somatic symptoms. Specific responses depend, among other factors, on age and developmental level of the child. If a school-related trauma is not adequately addressed at school, temporary disruptions in children's ability to concentrate can create a downward spiral in academic performance. Likewise, how school officials manage a crisis in the short-term can negatively affect longer-term functioning. Staff morale and school climate conducive to learning may be seriously impaired by unresolved crisis situations. Prevention models for crisis situations emphasize a preference for interventions in the classroom and school, by adults most familiar with and identified with the setting. One strong outcome predicator for a traumatized child is the ability of significant nurturing figures to deal with the traumatic event. With sufficient support and assistance, the traumatized child can gain new insight, skills, relationships, and an awareness of inner strength from having coped successfully with a school crisis (Hoffman, 1996). To maximize the likelihood that children will adapt successfully to school crises, school officials should develop and implement an organizational crisis management plan that anticipates potential problems and creates mechanisms for resolution. The intervention model helps schools prepare for school crisis situations by establishing trained school crisis management response teams and identifying intervention strategies and post-intervention activities appropriate to the particular school. Three critical levels of organization are designed in the model. The first and broadest level is a regional resource group. Regional planning and implementation allow sharing of expertise and resources across school district boundaries and encourage active involvement of professionals from disciplines typically not presented in schools. Developing regional policies and procedures also facilitates a coordinated response to large-scale disasters, such as when a tornado strikes contiguous communities (Kline et al., 1995). The second level focuses on district resources. A district team ensures that crisis intervention plans and activities from individual schools comply with existing district policies. The team also can advocate to change district policies based on recommendations from regional planning groups. Additional functions include facilitating sharing of clinical staff and resources among schools in a crisis; coordinating district-wide response when a crisis is not restricted to one school; ensuring regional community mental health resources are sufficient to accommodate student and staff needs in a crisis; overseeing training of school-based staff; and ensuring each school has a well-trained and fully operating crisis management response team (Kline et al., 1995). Implementation of the school crisis management plan involves the third level — the school crisis management response team. The model and training protocol enables crisis management response teams to provide most crisis-related services to their own students. Staff within a school are most familiar with their students and staff, so they are uniquely suited to provide support, assistance, and long-term follow-up that are the cornerstone of an effective crisis management plan (Kline et al., 1995). The literature reveals that school officials can do much to improve their management of school crisis situations through advance planning and constantly evolving crisis plans. Also, school officials must establish a preventive and systemic approach to crisis management. Thus, it is being proactive through group responsibility and preparedness. Most significantly, it is about assisting children in developing psychological resiliency, and schools in developing organizational resiliency to risk factors imposed by serious or repeated school crisis events. Many researchers indicated that this goal can be accomplished through use of a crisis intervention model and development of regional, district, and school crisis management response teams that work to implement the model and to support the entire school community before, during, and after school crisis (Kline et al., 1995).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Crisis management plans of some type were reported by 95% of responding districts. District crisis management teams were reported by 77% of respondents, and 88% have a part- or full-time director designated for crisis situation. The low number of districts (less than 50%) self-reporting at least one full day of training in the last year and no full-scale drill represents a very low level of crisis preparedness. This lack of preparedness reported in combination with the relatively high level of crisis incidents, such as student deaths, violence (fights), weapons on campus, and student threats, gives rise for concern, and districts should pay special attention to increasing future training efforts and performing more full-scale drills. For those districts responding that no district plan or team exists, obviously even more basic plan development and team formation activities must be initiated prior to the initiation of any training. For districts in states reporting a high level of past crises, such as weapons on campus, violent acts (fights) and threats by students, these results must serve as motivators to increase violence prevention activities, as well as to encourage rapid compliance with the need to continuously update, practice and exercise plans to ensure rapid and effective response to crisis situations. Both prevention and crisis management require staff and monitory resources to be successful. Funding levels for these should be increased. Overall, crisis plans should be improved in order to ensure adequate school district crisis preparedness. Levels of crisis training, drills and long-term prevention efforts need to increase in order to hopefully decrease the frequency of crisis team activation in the responding states school districts participating in this baseline study.