Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, opening a Bush administration summit on school violence, said today it is important for school systems to have a crisis response plan, reports the Associated Press. She said it is time for people to make sure their school has a response plan for crises – and that “every single person who needs to know is aware of what the plan is.” President Bush is expected to offer sympathy at the event, being held in the Maryland suburb of Chevy Chase.
The AP says the “event allows Bush to return to the politically safe issue of education and child safety.” No new policies are expected; strategies for keeping schools safe are widely known. Experts say schools often don’t get serious about safety until shootings make headlines. “Bringing people together to talk about what’s working – that can’t hurt,” said William Lassiter of the Center for the Prevention of School Violence in Raleigh, N.C. “I’m not saying we should put barbed wire up around schools or take other drastic measures. What we really need to look at is basic safety steps you would take at your own house.”