NYC Department of Education General Response Protocol
It is a sad fact that we are living in a post Sandy Hook World. I think I speak for every mother when I say, we went home and hugged our children a little tighter that night. If you don’t remember, in December 2012 a shooter entered an elementary school in Sandy Hook Connecticut and murdered both teachers and students in a shooting rampage. The New York City Department of Education has taken many safety measures since that day to keep their children safe. The latest measure is the formation of the “General response protocol or GRP”. I would like to say that these blogs mostly contain my opinion, and a sprinkle of humor, but for the most current information, please consult the DOE website.
This GRP has been implemented to form common language and policy that all schools will take until the arrival of first responders. This is a crucial and time saving element. One example that sticks with me is the need for a common language was a story I heard at a first responder’s conference discussing 9/11. Before the towers fell, NYC responders tried to mobilize and reach out to other states, letting New Jersey know that they needed “buses”. New Jersey rescue was unfamiliar with the slang term for ambulances that NYC uses and mobilized actual buses!
The GRP is categorized as either a red, yellow, or green alert. Each of these three protocols require different actions. Teachers, students, and faculty are being taught the different protocols and the action that is required. The administrators will still decide how the GRP is implemented or will take effect. For most schools the public address system is going to be the main mode of communication. From a horrific tragedy that is every parent’s worst nightmare, I commend the DOE for putting this plan into place to help ensure the safety of our children.