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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Schools undergo training on crisis planning, response

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands sponsored a day and a half workshop for CNMI public schools titled, “Responding to K-12 Schools in Crisis: What you Need to Know.”

Participants developed practical strategies for addressing the needs of students and staff during times of crisis. Trainers also helped educators address the emotional responses that occur and shared templates of tested protocols for crisis management. Participants also learned to effectively conduct supportive and appropriate classroom interventions.

The workshop also included training on “Creating and Sustaining a Local Crisis Response Team,” which is designed to provide a template of tested protocols for managing school crisis events. Helping educators address their own emotional responses was also included.

The training supports the goal of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice initiative announced in 2001, to combat gang and gun violence by promoting coordination among federal, state and local agencies to make our communities safer.

The trainers were Roger Roberts, Director, Madison County Emergency Management Agency; and Mary Dietz and Margaret Johnson, members of the Madison County Crisis Response Team, in Ohio.

“[We need] to learn more about what we can do, as a community, to protect and be responsive to the needs of our children and families during a time of crisis—whether it be a school shooting, a hate crime or other violence erupting on campus, a kidnapping or child exploitation crime, or even a natural disaster affecting our entire community,” said U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco.

“It is during these times of crises that we must come together, as a community, to respond and help one another, as not one person nor one organization can do it alone. It is during these time of crises when we are most challenged and tested…and thus, it is critical that we take the time to plan before any crisis occurs, and practice our plan as practice—practice and more practice—is just as important as the plan itself,” added Limtiaco.

The workshop was held at the State Board of Education Conference Room behind the Marianas High School campus on Bwughos Street in Susupe. Participants in Rota were also able to attend the training via video-teleconference. (USAO)

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