Train teachers, parents, pupils proper emergency response
Training, not only for employees and officials of public schools, but also parents of students should be done on how to respond to emergencies like bomb threats.
This was emphasized by Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, who said that in case of anonymous calls and tips, the most important thing to do is to remain calm.
“There is really a need to train especially those who receive or are in charge of the telephone. They have to be trained first that they should not be scared and that they should not panic. They have to be able to write the exact statements from the caller and try to figure out the tone of the caller,” he told reporters yesterday.
Tumulak, who is the deputy mayor on police matters, said that this is important especially when reporting threats to the nearest police station.
Following the bomb hoaxes which rocked Cebu City schools last Tuesday, Tumulak emphasized the need for quick reporting of these incidents to the police instead of having to go through several other people and officials.
At the same time, Tumulak requested school authorities in the city to regularly conduct drills in order to come up with a systematic flow of movement during emergencies.
“And these drills should be participated by the parents of the school children,” he added.
But according to Dr. Bianito Dagatan, Department of Education (DepEd)-Cebu City Schools Superintendent, the principals of the schools who received the prank calls observed protocol in the handling of the situation, although they needed to improve their method of handling the panicked parents.
“Automatic na nga kung dunay incident nga ingon ani, motawag dayon sa police, sa Command Center sa Cebu City ug sa Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (It is automatic for them to call the police, the Command Center in Cebu City and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management office when incidents like these happen.),” he said.
In an interview, Dagatan told Cebu Daily News that he already instructed school principals from different public schools to organize a meeting with the parents as soon as possible to discuss the matter.
“Kinahanglan nga i-improve nila ang pag-handle sa mga ginikanan nga nag-panic kay this might resulta sa stampede ug pagka-injury ngadto kanila ug sa mga estudyante (They should improve their handling of the anxious parents because they might cause a stampede which could injure them and the students),” Dagatan said.
The DepEd official said all 112 public schools in the city have their telephone lines with caller ID, but some of them are not functioning.
He said he will raise this concern with the telephone companies.
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