BAYTOWN, Texas – Keeping our schools safe is the priority at a two-day workshop where school communities will learn how to safely reunite students and parents during crisis situations. The training is happening at Stallworth Stadium, which is part of Goose Creek ISD.
More than 100 people from more than 20 local and regional school districts and first responders are in attendance. This training seminar was set up before the massacre in Uvalde, Texas last month.
Julia Andrews, director of the Center for Safe and Secure Schools explained, “Yes, this was planned nine months ago. It takes about seven to eight months to plan to get all districts together, a day, a location and a facility, so this was planned before Uvalde, but timely.”
The Center for Safe and Secure Schools, a division of the Harris County Department of Education, and the ‘I Love U Guys’ Foundation are leading mock scenarios on how to safely reunify students with their parents during a crisis situation.
“You (KPRC 2’s Zach Lashway) watched the simulation of how to reunify students and parents from start to finish, how they set up, the location, the staging area, filling out the information, checking out ID and reuniting the students and guardians,” Andrews said.
“In 2006, a stranger entered Platte Canyon High School in Colorado and he held seven girls hostage over the course of the afternoon. My daughter was one of those girls. She sent a text message, ‘I love u guys.’ And ultimately, he shot and killed Emily, but we took the text message and that’s what we found the foundation with,” explained John-Michael Keyes, executive director of the ‘I Love U Guys’ Foundation. “It was really in 2009 when we focused on school safety and we saw there wasn’t common language between students, staff and first responders on what to do during a crisis. Our goal is to do this with students and parents, but let’s practice a few times without students and parents being there so we can get our hands around it.”
‘I Love U Guys’ Foundation trains in almost every state.