Ethical Leadership in Troubling Times: Creating a Safe School Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)

Ethical Leadership in Troubling Times: Creating a Safe School Emergency Operations Plan (EOP)

Patricia Ann Traynor-Nilsen
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7582-5.ch008
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An administrator in a PK-12 setting has is an ethical responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone on campus. With an increasing number of safety incidents on school and university campuses throughout the country, the development and maintenance of a school emergency operations plan (EOP) everyone knows, understands, and follows is imperative. This chapter presents a format to make sure students, staff, parents, and any others on campus at the time of an incident are safe. Following the blueprint created by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, this chapter walks the planning team through the necessary steps to create a safe plan to follow in the event of an emergency. Special interest is provided dealing with an active shooter incident. The decisions the leader makes can have a positive or negative impact on the student/staff at the site. An ethical leader needs to plan for the worst and have staff prepared to deal with the worst with the hopes of never having to implement the plan.
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Model Code Of Ethics For Educators (Mcee)

The MCEE is a set of five Principles to which educators should adhere to. They are as follows:

  • Principle I: Responsibility to the Profession

  • Principle II: Responsibility for Professional Competency

  • Principle III: Responsibility to Students

  • Principle IV: Responsibility to the School Community

  • Principle V: Responsible and Ethical Use of Technology (NASDTEC, 2015)

Each of these principles has subsets underlying and outlining expectations. Principles II and II will be examined in this chapter.

Principle II: Responsibility for Professional Competence

The professional educator is committed to the highest level of professional and ethical practice, including demonstration of the knowledge, skills and disciplines required for professional competence.

Principle III: Responsibility to Students

The professional educator has a primary obligation to treat students with dignity and respect. The professional educator promotes the health, safety and well-being of students by establishing and maintaining appropriate verbal, physical, emotional and social boundaries.

It is through the lens of these above principles the following items are discussed and reviewed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lockdown: A precautionary measure in response to a threat directly to the school or in the surrounding community. In a lockdown, all school activities are moved indoors. Depending on the type of lockdown, interior and exterior doors on campus are locked. No one is allowed to enter or exit the building.

Training: Teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies.

Emergency Operations Plan: An emergency management plan is a course of action developed to mitigate the damage of potential events that could endanger an organization's ability to function. Such a plan should include measures that provide for the safety of personnel and, if possible, property and facilities.

Live Drill: An exercise in which people practice what to do in a dangerous situation. Numerous agencies (police, fire) will usually participate in a live drill.

Planning Team: Individuals who work together to create a plan that will benefit all who may need to execute the plan.

Natural Disaster: A natural event such as a flood, earthquake, or hurricane that causes great damage of loss of life.

School Safety: Schools and school-related activities where students are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and substance use. Safe schools promote the protection of students from violence, exposure to weapons and threats, theft, bullying, and the sale or use of illegal substances on school grounds.

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