3. Codes can kill.
Plan failure has occurred in actual events and in evaluations because school staff members often confuse different codes when they are used in a crisis. For example, during a recent security assessment of a school district, administrators at 22% of the schools we assessed accidentally ordered lockdowns instead of sheltering procedures in response to a tornado scenario. This could easily result in mass loss of life.
In another district, a staff member at one school referred to a “code purple” protocol that was not listed in any plan. No other staff members referred to this protocol. The staff member was able to describe in detail what a “code purple” would entail, but there was no way to be sure that other staff members would know what to do when hearing this instruction.