New York City Schools Lack Proper Safety Standards
New York city schools lack proper safety standards and are dangerously unprepared for active shooter situations and more, according to an audit by state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The audit looked at the safety plans of 25 of the city’s 1,800 schools run by the city Department of Education and found that rules in place do not always align with state regulations. Schools are dealing with missing floor plans, wrong phone numbers and a lack of drills and coordination with the state that could put thousands of students at severe risk.
DiNapoli said, "While it’s clear the New York City Department of Education takes school safety seriously, there are gaps that must be addressed. Schools large and small need to do everything possible to protect students and teachers from senseless tragedy," according to a news report.
Five of the schools audited did not conduct the minimum amount of evacuation or lockdown drills, and three didn’t conduct the drills in the required time frames for the 2016-17 school year. Schools are required to complete four lockdown drills and eight evacuation drills throughout the year, according to the report.
Additionally, some school safety plans were not stored in secured locations, one plan included an incorrect main phone number for the school and information about staffers and there was missing key information such as procedures to test drills in coordination with local emergency responders and policies for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by visitors to the school. Descriptions of school safety personnel duties as well as screening processes and training required of staffers were missing.