The management of a school disaster

Horst Gunther Graefe, Fordham University


Schools must plan and develop effective response guidelines to disasters. This case study reviewed the steps one school district pursued in responding to a local disaster that injured and killed children in school. The long-term response plan was based on the posttraumatic research that suggests that the normal grieving process can be hindered by a traumatic event. If the trauma remains unresolved, psychosomatic and mental health problems can develop that interfere with normal everyday individual and group functions. The results suggest that schools can effectively develop and implement a program that focuses on the therapeutic needs of the school community. The guidelines that were developed encompass additional response measures focusing on such central office matters as: physical plant needs, insurance coverage, community and staff relations, and dealing with the media.

Subject Area

School administration|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Graefe, Horst Gunther, "The management of a school disaster" (1992). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9304515.