Audit says California Schools’ Active-Shooter Response is Inadequate
A state audit has found that California K-12 schools are unprepared for incidents of gun violence.
The California State Auditor recently looked at three school districts and three county offices of education and found that state law does not require schools to have active-shooter response procedures in their “comprehensive school safety plan."
The audit also found that the California Department of Education (CDE) is not providing sufficient guidance to districts or county offices to help them ensure that their schools comply with safety plan requirements. Although CDE has provided some guidance to districts and county offices related to safety plans, the audit said given the number of errors it identified in the review and the responses it received to our interview and survey questions, its guidance appears to be insufficient.
Lack of money is blamed for the ending of a partnership between the state departments of education and justice that would help schools to create active shooter plans. The audit also found that CDE was not checking to see that local agencies actually had a plan in place.
The state audit recommends that the state Legislature create laws that require schools to include procedures, such as lockdowns, in their safety plans as well as verification that districts comply with such laws.
According to the audit report, CDE disagreed with the recommendation to provide additional guidance to districts and county offices regarding building disaster plans, but stated it would update and correct its safety plan compliance checklist and initiate meetings in 2017 with the DOJ to explore the possibility of resuming the partnership’s activities.DOJ also stated that it will work with CDE to identify the resources needed to resume the partnership’s activities.