The K-12 Standard Response Protocol (SRP) Toolkit offers guidance and resources for incorporating the Standard Response Protocol into a school safety plan, for a critical incident response within individual schools in a school district. The intent of this toolkit is to provide basic guidance with respect for local conditions and authorities. The only mandate presented is that districts, agencies, and departments retain the "Terms of Art" and "Directives" defined by this protocol. SRP is not a replacement for any school safety plan or program. It is simply a classroom response enhancement for critical incidents, designed to provide consistent, clear, shared language and actions among all students, staff and first responders. As a standard, SRP is being adopted by emergency managers, law enforcement, school and district administrators and emergency medical services across the country. Hundreds of agencies have evaluated the SRP and recommended the SRP to thousands of schools across the US and Canada.
The SRP Toolkit "Texas Edition" was created in conjunction with The I Love U Guys Foundation with the intent of incorporating Texas-specific guidance and mandates into these processes and materials.
Before You Begin
Texas School Districts and Junior College Districts are required by statute to have a multihazard emergency operations plan and school districts are required to have a safety and security committee. That same, safety and security committee, should be responsible for incorporating the SRP into the district’s safety plans. Having staff and including students in the development of safety plans can greatly increase the buy-in and participation from all campus safety stakeholders.
Texas law requires that the multi-hazard emergency operation plan provide for measures to ensure coordination with the Texas Department of State Health Services and local emergency management agencies, law enforcement, health departments, and fire departments. This coordination can help ensure safety plans will not conflict with existing local emergency services protocols.
A Critical Look
Be prepared to look at existing plans with a critical eye as often they can be described as a "Directive" of a certain "Term of Art"; i. e. conducting a fire drill is practicing a specific type of evacuation and the actions performed are similar in all evacuation scenarios. It makes sense to teach and train broader evacuation techniques while testing or practicing a more specific directive, like evacuating to the parking lot due to a fire.
Time barriers or actions are taken beforehand to ‘harden the structure’ can be an invaluable asset to safety; not only of staff and students but also visitors to a campus that expects a friendly and secure environment. Time Barriers are best described as a physical barrier that slows down the entry into or movement through a facility. This delay may allow trained persons to take further protective action and gives first responders more time to arrive.
A simple example of a Time Barrier would be making the exterior doors of a building automatically lock and could include installing a film on glass door panels to prevent them from shattering, delaying an intruder’s attempt to break into the premises. Finally, the most powerful time barrier in an active assailant event is a locked classroom door. The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Report, issued on March 6, 2015, states: The testimony and other evidence presented to the Commission reveals that there has never been an event in which an active shooter breached a locked classroom door.*
Foundation investigation into past school shootings reveals only two cases where a person behind a locked classroom door has been physically harmed. In the Red Lake, Minnesota incident, the gunman gained entry to the classroom by means of the side window by the classroom door. In the Platte Canyon, Colorado incident, the gunman was already in the room with hostages when law enforcement explosively breached the classroom door.