Progress Through Facts

December 30, 2020 / by The “I Love U Guys” Foundation

Jaclyn Schildkraut SUNY Oswego 08/24/2015

The upcoming Winter Briefings will take place February 4-5, 2021. We’ll focus on proactive, measured, and effective methods of keeping schools safe while providing takeaways that districts, departments, and agencies can implement right away.
You can register and read more about The Briefings here.

Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut is one of our invaluable presenters for The Winter Briefings. Many of you know Dr. Schildkraut through her research on mass shootings, or remember her presentations at The Briefings in previous years. We’re delighted to feature Dr. Schildkraut in this post ahead of her presentation in February. Stay tuned for next month’s highlight of Frank DeAngelis, former Columbine principal and current safety and emergency management consultant.

Over a decade of dedicated research

What are the moments that have defined your life? Was there a point in time, an event, that changed its trajectory? 

For Dr. Schildkraut, it was “the attack at Virginia Tech,” she told us. “When that happened I knew I wanted to do something to help. I went back to school to finish out my bachelor’s degree and then went straight through my Masters and my Ph.D. and never looked back.”

Today Dr. Schildkraut is a highly regarded researcher, professor, and presenter. Her research has contributed to countless articles and presentations, as well as four books including her most recently-published book, Columbine, 20 Years Later and Beyond: Lessons from Tragedy. Her work highlights the effects of lockdown drills,  media representations after mass shootings, the needs of survivors, and law reforms stemming from shooting incidents. Dr. Schildkraut does this work at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego as an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice.

At The Winter Briefings, expect to have some serious data dropped. Dr. Schildkraut will present data from three years working in New York State’s fifth largest school district. Because her story is from the heart, backed up by industry-leading data, her presentation epitomizes the saying “Stories are data with a soul.” 

“Data is important,” Dr. Schildkraut explains. “But especially in this space, we need to remember the human being behind the numbers. It’s the only way toward change.”

The Columbine HIgh School shooting had a profound effect on Jaclyn’s professional curiosities. When her hometown, Parkland, Florida, experienced a more recent school shooting, another area of study was awakened in Dr. Schildkraut as she noticed large gaps in safety protocols. The lack of training and system failures surrounding the shooting underlined the continued need to focus on improvements, and her research shifted to include finding and testing tools and training for school safety teams.

That’s why we do drills, to build muscle memory.

      – Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut

Dr. Schildkraut’s research draws from actual trainings in the Syracuse City School District. In the 2018-19 school year, Jaclyn received a grant to study and conduct a research project: “Implementing and Testing the Standard Response Protocol.” The next year she worked with the district on reunification, and is back with them this year to revamp lockdown drills during the pandemic. Expect to see some of the latter in her presentation; a timely addition to an already powerful session.

We’ll also dive into the six phases of Dr. Schildkraut’s work:

  1. Pre-test surveys

  2. Lockdown drill # 1

  3. Post-drill surveys

  4. SRP training

  5. Lockdown drill

  6. Post-training/drill surveys

Dr. Schildkraut’s presentation at The Briefings is a unique opportunity. There are precious few research studies on the effectiveness of safety drills in K-12 schools. Regular practice, skill mastery, and perfection standards support what we know to be true: that having tools and not needing them is far stronger than needing tools and not having them. 

“My study, and this presentation, gives us the data to back up our intuition. This can be powerful when making decisions about prioritizing school safety and what it should look like.”

Dr. Schildkraut’s work reminds us that practicing drills and procedures until muscle memory has developed means our bodies can take over if our minds become occupied with emotion. Practicing school safety procedures and drills has the added benefit of empowering staff to be relied on in escalated situations.

The data is clear: When done in line with best practices, lockdown drills are an empowering tool to keep schools safe.

      – Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut

Join Dr. Schildkraut at The Winter Briefings, February 4-5

The virtual Briefings is a space for our leaders to share information and research with our school safety decision makers. And while communities are responding in different ways to COVID-19, these responses do not alter our focus on safety protocols right now and as schools begin to regain levels of normalcy in the coming year. 

Sign up for the Winter Briefings to hear Dr. Schildkraut’s latest research findings and learn how they shape our school safety procedures.

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Written by The “I Love U Guys” Foundation

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