Responding to a School Crisis
The immediate goals of school staff after a crisis are to reestablish a sense of safety and restore the learning environment at the school. The first step is to ensure that the building and grounds of the school are secure and well monitored so that students and staff can regain a sense of trust and safety.
To achieve these goals, each member of the school community must work both individually and as a member of a team to take the steps needed to restore balance to the school environment. Positive working relationships among school staff not only achieve the goal of recovery from a school crisis, but the staff's actions provide positive role models for students and life-long lessons about how to conduct oneself during times of adversity.
For information on funding for school-crisis recovery, please visit the U.S. Department of Education SERV Funding for Crisis Recovery.
(The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, through Congressional action, has made funding available under the auspices of Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence). Project SERV specifically funds "education-related services to local education agencies in which the learning environment has been disrupted" due to a sudden, unexpected or violent event that may involve physical harm and fear. Once a school's application is submitted and approved, the "education-related services" may include intermediate and longer-term mental health recovery efforts necessary to restore the learning environment of the school.)
For additional information on dealing with school crises, please visit the 3R's of School Crises and Disaster.
School Shooting Responses
Resources for Schools:
- Psychological First Aid for Schools (PDF)
- Providing PFA-S: For Health-Related Professionals (PDF)
- Providing PFA-S: For Principals and Administrators (PDF)
- Providing PFA-S: For School Support Staff (PDF)
- Providing PFA-S: For Teachers (PDF)
- Self-Care Checklist for School Staff (PDF)
- Teacher Guidelines for Helping Students after Mass Violence (PDF)
- Helping Youth After a Community Trauma: Tips for Educators (PDF)
Resources for Parents and Caregivers:
- After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal (PDF)
- Tips for Parents on Media Coverage (PDF)
- Tips for Youth Talking to Journalists about Mass Violence (PDF)
Resources for Youth and Families Who Were Injured:
Individualized Guidelines for Key School Personnel