School shooting: It's when, not if.
Police are pushing for schools to implement an emergency response strategy in the event of a shooting similar to those that have happened overseas.
On radio today, police were interviewed and this media release suddenly become the "P" [methamphetamine] problem... [yet another 'meth-con'?] sad but true! / Blair
The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) holds its annual conference in Christchurch from tomorrow and police say it is a good opportunity to discuss the realities of a shooting.
"Like it or not, it's not a matter of whether a shooting could happen in a school, but more of a matter of when," Superintendent Bruce Dunstan said.Mr Dunstan, commander of the police national tactical group, said such an event could involve anything from a person carrying a firearm to someone shooting one or more people.
While schools had plans for emergencies such as earthquakes, flooding and fires, few - if any - were prepared for an armed incident.
He said police expectations of boards of trustees in terms of emergency preparedness would be discussed at the conference."We don't want to create panic and say it's going to happen tomorrow, but it is a form of emergency like many others that schools face, and we'd like schools to think about how they'd respond to minimise chaos should they be so unfortunate to be faced with such a scenario."Just because a school hasn't faced an emergency before doesn't mean they can't plan for it," Mr Dunstan said.
He said police wanted a standard emergency response ratified so schools and police could be prepared and respond in a consistent way."If we're all on the same page it doesn't matter whether the school is in Invercargill or Whangarei, the response and procedures will be the same for both schools and police.
"It means that on the day schools and students in particular will know how to react."
Part of the response plan would be to consider how the alarm would be raised and how schools would react.
Police are currently in talks with the Ministry of Education and NZSTA, and want the ministry to make a response plan widely available to schools, who can then decide whether or not to adopt it.The conference will also cover student discipline issues, and issues that arise from complaints to the Ombudsmen's Office by parents or students about board of trustees' disciplinary decisions.
(and how many of these complaints will be around the contestable discipline policy and procedure issues relating to unresolved drug policy? /Blair)