An article by Guy Bliesner and Brian Armes was brought to my attention…and in full disclosure I know both Guy and Brian, and I think they do great work with school security assessments and more.
Their article was called:
There Is No Such Thing as Plausible Deniability in School Safety
Their article explained a “commonly held and deeply disturbing issue of concern” involving campus and district administrators: “If we do an assessment, we will be at a greater risk liability”.
The article goes on to point out how the legal doctrine of in loco parentis assigns responsibility to educators for student safety and security and it includes a “duty to care”. The article closes by pointing out “knowledge is power” and “The bottom line: there is a duty to care. Plausible deniability…….Don’t think so”.
Connecting the dots…
The article by Guy and Brian is valuable because it brings attention to some of the most dangerous gaps in schools – awareness gaps between in loco parentis, duty to care and perceived risk liability.
Dangerous awareness gaps have been exposed over and over in numerous post-incident reports. As a matter of fact, the data from post-incident reports almost always reveals how preventable incidents, headlines, lawsuits and tragedies failed to be prevented even though students, faculty, staff and others associated with the school were aware of pre-incident indicators.
When it comes to “liabilities” for school officials and educators…and based on real-world incidents… which of the following has more liability?
Preventing an incident from happening.
Reacting to an incident and trying to cover up or explain why you did not prevent it?
The real key to student safety and reducing liabilities is taking action. One of my favorite words of wisdom comes from Napoleon Hill:
“Action is the real measure of intelligence.”
In dealing with next generation students, risks, obligations and liabilities…knowledge is not enough.
Surviving In the Next Generation Requires Knowledge and Action!
If you want to see some of the actions leading schools are taking…click here.