On September 20th, the Delaware Department of Homeland Security released the 2017-2018 annual progress report for the Comprehensive School Safety Program. As part of the Omnibus School Safety Act, Delaware schools are required to hold different types of safety drills. According to this report, every single public school in the state held these drills. Does this mean our schools are safe?
Delaware schools are required to hold at least two lockdown/intruder drills each year. In addition, they must have one tabletop exercise each year. When these requirements went into effect for the 2015-2016 school year, Delaware schools were at 69% proficiency for this. Now they are at 100%.
Like any drill, that does not necessarily mean a drill is the same as the real thing. Heightened emotions would play the biggest factor if something happened in a school, such as an active shooter. How ready can you be for something of that magnitude? I pray we never find out. To find out, that would mean, at a minimum, trauma. At worse, death. Delaware has been lucky. We have not experienced a Columbine or Parkland.
We did pass new school safety laws in Delaware in the last General Assembly session. Those are mentioned in the below report and what they might mean for continued school safety. As well, future initiatives will help to make sure kids are safe in our schools.