A recent focus group found that parents had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the SafeDefend concept. There was a sense that, the more schools can do to keep kids safe, the better. In order to have a better basic understanding of school safety concerns among parents and teachers, and to gauge reactions to the SafeDefend concept, Clear Box Insights, an independent research firm, was commissioned to lead a focus group. Parents and teachers from schools in the Olathe School District and the Blue Valley School District were interviewed.
SafeDefend’s three primary concepts, prepare, defend and notify, giving teachers the resources to defend their students. Both parents and teachers understand the need for the safety measures already in place at schools and are appreciative that their schools are being proactive; however, there is a strong sense that schools can be doing more to keep kids safe.
After hearing SafeDefend’s concept and reading a description of the “toolkit” and items inside here were some of the following responses:
“It’s a toolbox that is non-lethal, yet you could get a suspect under control, hopefully, or at least ward them off. It’s relatively safe, even if it were to fall into the wrong hands. It’s not like any of these items would bring a great deal of harm to anyone.” (Olathe Dad)
“I like the idea that there is first aid, handcuffs, pepper spray, and a whistle. It looks like it would be nice to have it all compact in one space and training can be centralized. I like the idea of one of these in every classroom and that they would have a way to get in touch with authorities. The monitoring component is an important part of this.” (Blue Valley Mom)
“The details provided are much more specific and I really like the variety of items listed. The reason I like the variety is because there are potentially a lot of different scenarios that could arise and could put our teachers and students in harm’s way. I like that this seems pretty complete based on the different scenarios.” (Blue Valley Dad)
“It would be nice to know that you had something in place that had been thought through. We do the fire and tornado drills and all that, but not for intruders. But, I’m a little weary of being about to actually fight myself. It would have to be something I felt like I could use.” (Olathe Teacher)
“I like that there would actually be something in our hands to help. I can’t tell exactly what it is going to be and how comfortable I would be using it, but it says ‘non-lethal’. Obviously, I wouldn’t be comfortable shooting someone with a gun and wouldn’t want it in my classroom.” (Olathe Teacher)
“I like that it’s not a gun or a weapon, that scares me as a teacher in the classroom, for my own capabilities as well as students getting their hands on it. I like having the trauma pack in there, it’s good to have access to that. I like the fact that it really seems to be hitting several different areas or variables that may go on.” (Blue Valley Teacher)