In school environments, do planners operate under risk avoidance or risk management?
When we assess risk, risk management programs accept some level of noncompliance but are either willing to accept some level of risk or assume that other initiatives will identity and counter the threat. Conversely, risk avoidance seeks to remove or prevent a potential threat all together.
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Schools are, by their nature, gathering locations for large numbers of young people who, by virtue of their age and corresponding inexperience, need to be protected from potential risks by leaders (called administrators, teachers, counselors, and so on) who have been assigned that responsibility. While most schools term their policies as being "risk management," what they are attempting to accomplish falls under "risk avoidance" according to your definition.
In the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, school districts throughout the country developed procedures for "terrorist drills" and added equipment intended to increase the detection of potential threats entering the schools.
They installed metal detectors and security cameras, banned backpacks, required students to carry IDs and posted police in the hallways -- all in the name of keeping students safe.
As the issue of bullying evolves and attracts attention with the rise in perpetuation through social media, schools are providing training and counseling to students and adults. Consequences against those who act as bullies are becoming more severe and more immediate.
Schools can establish clear procedures for reporting rule violations so that reasonable consequences can be given to students when rules are broken. Reporting systems help track individual incidents and responses as well as trends over time.
Schools are not able to create failproof systems of avoiding all risks that might threaten functions and the people in them, but most systems are proactive about developing methods to minimize risk factors.
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