Crisis Communication Teams in Schools

The possibility of having new businesses move to town to provide more jobs is linked to the success of acim school. Simply put, the crisis communication team, which extends across the entire staff, happens to be an essential part of an American community.

When one works for a large school system, the ways of the school become acculturated in the individual. This does not necessarily happen the first year, and a novice will probably make a few mistakes along the way. Using the chain of command as well as diplomacy when dealing with crisis situations that involve the American public schools will help everyone attain a positive outcome in the long run. This article aims to help communicators understand the many crisis situations that can occur in the public school systems located in the United States. Since they serve a wide range of people, almost anything can happen and it’s best to be prepared beforehand.

Testing practices are very important and one possible crisis situation could occur when something goes wrong during the administration of a test. Extended test time, cheating, or nonstandard testing are all possible occurrences that would cause a crisis situation. Test administrators are directed to report any abnormalities immediately. Testing crises have occurred throughout the state and sometimes they have even appeared in the news when there was no foundation for the accusations. Almost anything can become a crisis in testing–such as, for example, when a child reports that he or she had a couple of extra minutes to take a test. Throughout the country, the worst accusations have been made when teachers have been accused of changing the answers on the test. This is one possible crisis situation that is always on the back of the curriculum director’s mind.

In one Georgian county in the early 2000s, a teacher taped her students’ lips together during a classroom game. Although the teacher thought it was a fun game, that situation evoked a publicity crisis and caused the Department of Social Services to have to conduct an investigation. It was very embarrassing for the county schools, and the teacher had to be moved to a new location. She was fortunate not to have been fired for such behavior, but she was well-liked by her peers and by students. Perhaps the author of this paper would have dismissed her permanently.

Other obstacles that a school system could encounter are those of terrorism, a lone gunman, an angry parent, bullying, natural disasters including tornadoes, storms, earthquakes, and other unforeseen accusations in the news. Abuse of students and staff, even death due to natural causes are some possibilities. One year, a student died during a soccer game due to an undiagnosed heart condition. This exemplified how unexpected crises can take place from one moment to the next in a large organization. The school staff needs to have a plan in place in order to discuss these crises with the public in a humane and caring manner that will not ruin the reputation of the school system.

The stakeholders are the people who are most interested in the success of the schools. Stakeholders also benefit from the schools’ successes. They have an ongoing investment in our educational institutions and care about what happens. Not all stakeholders are the same because they are affected differently, but some of the most important stakeholders are the company’s customers who have the special rights of clients. Both customers and employees have an interest in the organization’s success. From one perspective, the employee’s interest can be seen as a little selfish because if things do not go well, there is always the possibility of a massive layoff of staff.

This means that employees need to give good service to customers who include students, parents, and local businesses. People who have invested money in the school, those who have given gifts or tax money (the taxpayers, themselves), are also stakeholders because they want to see that their donations are wisely invested, well appropriated, and that they help young students. People who promote our schools and who dream of our schools’ successes are also stakeholders. The ones who drive the buses and the ones who teach the lessons have invested their time and, thus, are valuable stakeholders to be considered as well as respected.

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