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Ask an Expert: What is the Standard Response Protocol?

Q. What exactly is the Standard Response Protocol, and why is it so important? Which schools don’t use it?

A. When we began to look at school safety, one of the things that became apparent was that students, staff and first responders rarely share the same language during an emergency or crisis.

Schools within a single law enforcement jurisdiction might say entirely different things in response to a threat at the school. We suggested that schools standardize on four actions that help both in training and in response to an emergency. The four actions are lockout (secure the perimeter), lockdown (locks, lights, out of sight), evacuate and shelter.

It’s called the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) and The “I Love U Guys” Foundation has collaborated with school districts, departments and agencies in creating materials to help schools implement the SRP.

Our first presentation on the SRP was in April of 2009, and by the 2009-10 school year, we had 250 schools in Colorado implementing it. With the 2010-11 school year, we’re on track for over 500 Colorado Schools and hundreds more across the country.

The foundation has produced a 3 minute video that sets the stage for looking at the SRP.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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