Standard Response Protocol (SRP): The Benefits of Using Ordinary Words in Extraordinary Times

Posted By: Marshall Singer Consortium Hot Topics,

Standard Response Protocol (SRP):

The Benefits of Using Ordinary Words in Extraordinary Times

Marshall Singer, Sales Director, Ruvna

The Standard Response Protocol, K-12 (SRP) is set up in schools across the U.S. through the “I Love u Guys” Foundation, which offers optional classroom training for schools and school districts committed to protecting schools and communities in the event of a crisis.

The History of SRP

The “I Love u Guys” Foundation is so-named because founders Ellen and John-Michael Keyes were the parents of Emily Keyes, a student fatally injured in a school shooting and hostage-taking on September 27, 2006 at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado. Emily texted her parents during the horrific event, "I love u guys."

Since 2009, The “I Love u Guys” Foundation has offered no-cost programs to schools, districts, departments, agencies, and organizations. John-Michael Keyes left his company and began in earnest to establish a clear, distinct, common language between students, staff, and first responders. Mr. and Mrs. Keyes used their skills in design, packaging, and critical thought, along with their passion, to solidify a robust and diverse Board of Directors and a volunteer platform, which added to both their knowledge pool and their skill sets.

Through collaboration with experts in law enforcement, emergency management, education, and psychology, the Foundation created an evidence-based system to offer to schools and first responders.

How SRP Works

The Standard Response Protocol has allowed for uniformity in the manner schools respond to crises and the language used to talk about these events. Now everyone is speaking the same language.

SRP groups crisis events into four main categories:

  • Lockouts

This procedure is used to safeguard students and staff within the building. Typically, this action comes into play when the threat is outside of the school. The directive language is "Secure the Perimeter." Students come inside and doors are locked. Staff is expected to utilize situational awareness, but classes, in most cases, can continue.

Lockouts allow for relatively normal school operations. Bringing all students inside also allows for maximum communication.

  • Lockdowns

During this procedure, individual rooms become secured and students are kept quiet and in place. This directive is applicable when the threat could be internal. The language for lockdown is "Locks, Lights, Out of Sight."

Lockdowns occur when an internal threat is suspected, but the lockdown directive does not mandate locking outside doors. Doing so might inhibit the entry of first responders, and students or staff might end up in exposed areas in the attempt to lock outside doors.

It is possible to have a directive that includes both lockout and lockdown.

  • Evacuate

When the school community (students, staff, and administration) needs to move from one location to another, the directive is in words used to describe the position to which the community should go.

  • Shelter

If the event is a natural disaster, individuals and groups go to a space specified by the leader for protection. This action is followed by the hazard and safety strategies.


The “I Love u Guys” Foundation updated its SRP materials into what is now the Standard Response Protocol – Extended (SRP-X). Schools, universities, and other organizations can download a copy of the SRP, along with the SRM, the Standard Reunification Method – K-12 Schools, which includes methods for planning, practicing, and achieving a successful reunification after an event.

In Closing

SRP provides an invaluable starting point for schools looking to ensure a common language and procedures that make straightforward sense. When you consider the human elements alone - students, parents, teachers, administrators - organizing an efficient system takes time, effort, and careful policies. To bolster your efforts, a crisis management system that offers ease of use, excellent communication, and is geared specifically for K-12 schools can be indispensable.

Ruvna's school crisis and emergency management system is built for schools. Geared towards greater communication, it helps increase student accountability during drills and emergencies, helps guide teachers through lockdown procedures, and uses the best technology to get it all done. To learn more, please visit our website or contact us today.

Marshall Singer is a problem solver passionate about innovation in all forms, what drives people to collaborate, and the tech-enabled future of education. At Ruvna, he is in charge of growth, business operations, and partnerships. In this capacity, he has worked with independent schools and public districts nationwide to improve safety communication and emergency response.