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Preparing United States Schools for International Terrorist Violence - Essay Example

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Preparing United States Schools for International Terrorist Violence

Of recent past, it has become clear that terrorism has become very dynamic, through the use of unprecedented attacks and targets. To this effect, terrorist activities have begun targeting schools, church buildings and even hospitals. The targeting of schools as was exemplified by the Beslan school hostage crisis (otherwise known as the Beslan massacre) on September 1, 2004, the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999, the Dawson College shooting on September 13, 2006, the 300 schools which were pummeled in terrorist attacks in Turkey, the 1974 Ma’alot School massacre which claimed 21 Israeli children, the recurrent spates of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, Algeria and Nigeria not only underscore the dynamism of terrorism, but also emphasizes the need to prepare schools (students, teachers, administrators and the neighboring society) for terrorist attacks. While the threat of terrorist attacks is always imminent, this threat can be mitigated through related disaster preparedness. Again, the need to address the need to prepare schools against terrorist attacks is underscored by schools being learning grounds for children, yet children cannot be armed against terrorism or physical aggression. Gonzales, Schofield, Herraiz and Domingo (2005) postulate that one of the ways by which schools can be prepared for terrorist threats is teaching students, teachers, administrators and the neighboring society on how to behaviorally respond immediately a terrorist onslaught is launched. Some of the behavioral recommendations that must be taught as the most appropriate and immediate response to a terrorist attack include: remaining calm and being patient; making sure that the advices that the local emergency officials are adhered to; checking for injuries, giving first aids and getting assistance for those who have been seriously injured; listening to the radio or television for instructions and news; checking for damages through an aid of a flashlight and not matches, electrical switches or candles; sniffing for gas leaks and turning off the main gas valve; opening the windows and helping others to get outside, as fast as possible; shutting off other damaged facilities; avoiding the use of the telephone, unless there is a life-threatening emergency; when possible, checking on areas within the struck precincts for the disabled; avoiding roads that may have been barricaded; and evacuating the area. The steps above should be well stratified so that children are separated from higher spheres of responsibilities which can only be dispensed by more mature counterparts such as members of the administration or adults in the neighboring society. Failure to make this distinction may jeopardize children’s lives, when these children take upon themselves, roles that are beyond them. Steps should also be made to acquaint children, teachers and school administration with the school’s community disaster plan. These teachers, students and school administration should also be familiarized with the existing evacuation guidelines. The same group should be made to understand the people they should take directions from during terrorist attacks (with these people being the fire fighters, the police, military personnel, school administrators and the military personnel). There should also be the identification of hospitals and other healthcare ...Show more
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Summary

Preparing US Schools for International Terrorist Violence Course/Number Date Introduction Terrorism refers to the strategic use of unlawful force and/ or threat of unlawful violence to inspire fear; with this fear being in turn intended for coercion or intimidation of governments, the society or members of the society in the quest for religious, political or/ and ideological goals…
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