School Officials Effectively Handle Fallout from Casey Anthony Trial

NIMS helped district deal with onslaught of media and student mental health issues.

As the media reports on the Casey Anthony tragedy again during the trial phase, most people will not see how diligently school and area public safety officials had to work each day to cope with the potential impact of the murder of a child on an elementary school located in close proximity to where the victim’s body was hidden. 

Putting to use the extensive National Incident Management System (NIMS) training that had been provided to school employees, the district’s personnel worked closely with local law enforcement personnel to adjust drop off and pick up routes, deliver mental health recovery services to children attending the school and to address the many issues that arose each day. 

The challenges posed by massive numbers of media personnel camped out near the school was also met with efficient collaboration that had been built over the course of years by school and public safety officials through planning meetings, drills, exercises and other efforts to build capacity for a smooth multi-agency response.

While the media and the general public may miss this important aspect of this tragic case, campus officials should view it of one more reminder of the success that can come from tragic circumstances by the advance efforts to prepare for crisis situations.  Sometimes success involves what does not go wrong when tragedy strikes.

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About the Author


Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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