Crisis Management in Schools

I’m at a day for First Time Principals and will try to blog some of the sessions. Have found some Cafenet Wireless and am connected so let’s get into it ! MUCE Sept 11 2007

Sarah Jack – Chris Hughes both from GSE P Nth – Crisis Management
Managing Traumatic Incidents in Schools

Definition – an event that causes individuals to experience a strong emotional reaction that interferes with usual coping skills.
A school event which affects the whole school and prevents it from functioning normally. Sarah – “A policy is nothing without a procedure.” eg serious injury, arson, drowning, suicide, threats of physical violence, fraud etc.

Scenario – Man with knife, grabbed little girl – took her off in a green car – no license plate – children saw. In our small groups we worked through some possible actions in dealing with this situation. Important to establish leadership – who will deal with it.

Scenario (new information) – Mother comes in with news she heard police communications and speaks to secretary – she wanders off to find out the situation herself.

Scenario (new information) – Police arrive – want to interview all the children.

Scenario (new information) – Teacher asked if her class is still able to go on a class trip tomorrow.

The group I was part of was aware of many different issues and the need to lead and manage the situation. Scenario (new information) – Journalists turn up wanting names and information.

Scenario – (new information) – Journalists ask a staff member who is turning up for reading recovery. End of scenario.

Death adds intensity to a traumatic incident. Need to acknowledge that all people react differently to these events. Cultural needs vary greatly.

In a crisis who do we need to help us support us to make crucial decisions ? – need to form a team and train. Review yearly at teachers only day and train new people.

Special Ed Role – will respond in a culturally appropriate manner when invited. In our area phone 0800 TI TEAM. Identify potential risks and provide support as part of the TI team. GSE will liaise within the ministry and support agencies to support the school.

Three principles – inclusion and ownership, normal routines, personal resources and growth.

These things take time – children are resilient and move on – sometimes the adults take longer before they can grieve and begin to function normally again. The key here is to support and understand the process. Recovery comes from within.

GSE use a 7 stage model:

  1. Establish the facts
  2. Meeting of TI team
  3. Communication
  4. Triage – establish priorities
  5. Psychological First Aid
  6. Debriefing
  7. Review

Sarah took us through reactions that children may have to traumatic events. People react in a variety of ways.

She provided a handout with plenty of information. Planned response to media is important and done through a media spokesperson.

Need for principals to get support themselves.

A good session highlighting the need for good policy, procedure and preparation. Thanks Sarah.


Author: nzkoobi

I am Tom.

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