Strategies and insights into how to better protect students, staff and facilities
October 12, 2011
Author: Timothy Means
Source: American School and University Magazine
The Department of Education does not set specific time requirements for emergency notification. Early drafts of Higher Education Opportunity Act 2008 (HEOA 2008) cited 30 minutes as a warning window, but in the end, the more vague term "within a reasonable and timely manner" was used. Also there is no definition of what constitutes an emergency event or dangerous situation requiring notification of the campus population. By not setting a finite measure of time or defining what emergency events are, the law has left it to be determined after the fact as to whether or not timely notification was properly executed.
DOE's ruling on Virginia Tech Unversity changes the nature of campus police responsibility and response. In order to meet this obligation, universities are forced into more elaborate scenario planning so that there is less contemplation when an emergency does occur. Quicker decisions means less time to notification. When the decision is made to notify the population, the notification system in place needs to deliver as simply and quickly as possible.
Read the rest of the story at American School & University Magazine