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School Safety Planning: Preventing School Violence and Other Harmful Student Interactions Rick Rieser MS JD 2013 SafeSchoolResources.com.

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Presentation on theme: "School Safety Planning: Preventing School Violence and Other Harmful Student Interactions Rick Rieser MS JD 2013 SafeSchoolResources.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 School Safety Planning: Preventing School Violence and Other Harmful Student Interactions Rick Rieser MS JD 2013 SafeSchoolResources.com

2 From This Presentation You Will Learn: Areas of Risk for Harmful Student Behaviors in Schools School Safety Planning (School Safety Plan, Emergency Management and Crisis Response Plan) The Early Warning Signs of Harmful Student Behavior How to Implement Programming to Decrease the Risk of Harmful Student Behaviors Emerging Options for Third Party (outsider) Attack Persistent Harmful Student Interactions aka Bullying 2

3 Schools: Potential Areas of Risk for Harmful Behaviors 3 Student attacks other students in building Third party (outsider) attack Persistent Harmful Student Interactions aka Bullying

4 Is Your School at Risk? 4 Third party Attack Violent Student Attack Bullying Third party Attack Violent Student Attack Bullying Lower Risk: 1.Schools have safety plans in place 2.Approach safety planning as a community team process 3.Teachers can identify warning signs 4.There is legitimate programming to address the students mental and social health 5.Students and parents feel safe to communicate what they observe Lower Risk: 1.Schools have safety plans in place 2.Approach safety planning as a community team process 3.Teachers can identify warning signs 4.There is legitimate programming to address the students mental and social health 5.Students and parents feel safe to communicate what they observe Higher Risk: 1.No effective safety planning 2.Teachers cannot effectively identify warning signs 3.Little legitimate programming to address the students mental and social health 4.Limited communication from students/ parents to school 5.Early intervention is limited Higher Risk: 1.No effective safety planning 2.Teachers cannot effectively identify warning signs 3.Little legitimate programming to address the students mental and social health 4.Limited communication from students/ parents to school 5.Early intervention is limited

5 5 School safety planning is a comprehensive team effort involving: Students Teachers Parents School Staff and Administration Law enforcement agencies, businesses, faith-based organizations and other community organizations Schools can increase the safety and security of their students. School Safety Planning

6 6 Student, Parent, Teacher, Administrator/District Team Law Enforcement Mental Health Agencies Broader Community FEDERAL AND STATE POLICY CONTEXT DISTRICTWIDE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN (early stage identification) SCHOOL BUILDING EMERGENCY AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN (preparing for when) CRISIS RESPONSE TO A VIOLENT EVENT (what to do after)

7 School Safety Plan 7 An effective written plan includes: Assessment of the current status of school • Descriptions of the early warning signs Procedures to address early warning signs • Descriptions of effective mental and social health prevention program(s) the school has in place • Descriptions of intervention strategies the school community can use to help troubled children and ensure school safety. • Child Abuse Reporting Procedures Suspension and Expulsion Policies Policy for Notifying Teachers of Dangerous Pupils Discrimination and Harassment Policy School-wide Dress Code Safe Ingress and Egress Procedures Ensuring a Safe and Orderly Environment Discipline Procedures Hate Crime Policies and Procedures Disaster Procedures A Guide for the Development of a District wide School Safety Plan NJ DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SERVICES PTM No A

8 Action Planning Checklist Prevention-Intervention-Crisis Response What To Look For —Key Characteristics of Responsive and Safe Schools Does my school have characteristics that: __ Are responsive to all children? What To Look For —Early Warning Signs of Violence Has my school taken steps to ensure that all staff, students, and families: __ Understand the principles underlying the identification of early warning signs? __ Are able to identify early warning signs? _ Know how to identify and respond to imminent warning signs? What To Do—: Intervention: Getting Help for Troubled Children Does my school: __ Understand the principles underlying intervention? __ Make early intervention available for students at risk of behavioral problems? __ Provide individualized, intensive interventions for students with severe behavioral problems? __ Have school wide preventive strategies in place that support early intervention? What To Do —Crisis Response Does my school: __ Understand the principles underlying crisis response? __ Have a procedure for intervening during a crisis to ensure safety? __ Know how to respond in the aftermath of tragedy? 8

9 School Safety Planning: Risk of Student Attack 9

10 Early Warning Signs May Include Social withdrawal. • Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone. • Excessive feelings of rejection. • Being a victim of violence • Feelings of being picked on and persecuted. • Low school interest and poor academic performance. • Expression of violence in writings and drawings. • Uncontrolled anger. History of discipline problems. Past history of violent and aggressive behavior. Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes. Drug use and alcohol use. Affiliation with gangs. Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms. Serious threats of violence. Note: These are guidelines and NOT to be utilized as a checklist 10

11 Imminent Warning Signs May Include 11 Serious physical fighting with peers or family members. Severe destruction of property. Severe rage for seemingly minor reasons. Detailed threats of lethal violence. Possession and/or use of firearms and other weapons. Other self-injurious behaviors or threats of suicide. Is carrying a weapon, particularly a firearm, and has threatened to use it. Note: These are guidelines and NOT to be utilized as a checklist

12 12 Early Warning, Timely Response, Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice of the American Institutes for Research in collaboration with the National Association of School Psychologists and the Us Department of Education Effective Interventions

13 Effective Programmatically and Legally 13 Student, parent and school Team Creating parent, student, and school team is effective programmatically because it brings together everyone who is responsible for school culture This is effective legally because every parent is given the option to opt in to the process of improving the school norm (Creates awareness at a minimum) Evidence-based interventions Evidence-based interventions are effective programmatically because they focus school planning on interventions that have already been proven to work This is effective legally because schools can demonstrate that what they are doing has support in best practices and research Measuring results Measuring results are effective programmatically to foster continuous program improvement This is effective legally because it creates a track record of collective effort and results.

14 School Safety Planning: Risk of Third Party (outsider) attack 14

15 School Safety Planning: Third party (outsider) attack 15 How Do We Assess this Risk in Light of Columbine, Jonesboro, Arkansas and Newtown Connecticut? 1)Programmatically 2)Legally 3)Respond in a manner that makes students, parents and teachers feel safe 4)Ethically 5)Thoroughly

16 16 1. There is a one in a million chance that a child will be killed with by a gun in a public school setting 2.School is the safest place a child will spend their day 3.On average, the number of children killed by firearms in a school setting has remained constant over the years. Minor Changes Needed?

17 17 1)School shootings are now more often killing students in larger numbers in a single incident 2)Copy-Cat Potential 3)Increasing mental instability of the general community population Major Changes?

18 Weighing the Risks Schools are required to protect their students and provide for the safety of the students in their care Known hazards or threats Supervision Sporting activities Providing a safe school environment Look at: The magnitude of loss, the probability of occurrence and the cost or burden of precautions to prevent. 18

19 Choosing Solutions 1.Revising School Safety Plan 2.Facility Changes 3.Metal Detectors 4.Two way radios/walkie-talkies/cell phones 5.Coordinated planning with local law enforcement 6.Improving the flow of communication between the students, parents, community and the school 7.Armed Staff 8.Police presence 19

20 Persistent Harmful Student Interactions aka Bullying Bullying is: The intentional use harmful words or actions, persistently, by one student to another, that results in harm (emotional/physical) Bullying is not: Traditional school based criminal behavior Child and adolescent testing behaviors 20 Need to look at state laws but also federal civil rights and other legislation

21 School Responsibilities Today Know the law Abide by school district policies Make sure students and staff understand the policies Report/Investigate/Protect Hold school teachers and administrators accountable If possible (based on financial and academic time limitations) implement programming to address bullying 21

22 Where schools fail 22 Just do something mentality

23 The Pyramid Individual Incident(s) Do not adequately/appropriately investigate Common but inaccurate beliefs about bully programs Many teachers do not know how to identify bullying behaviors Lack effective programming to reduce bullying and increase reporting Do not adequately inform teachers about reporting requirements or procedures 23

24 Legal Responsibilities and Standards of Care 24 Statutes and Precedent Policies Customs and Best Practice Research Previous examples in child and adolescent care: Autism, Restraint/Seclusion and Sexual Abuse Gray Area Liable Responsible

25 Hypothetical Example The superintendent of small school district A is concerned about bullying in their middle school. They inform the middle school principal that something must be done. The principal discusses this matter with his staff. Several staff members and the principal go to a conference and learn about bullying. They return with anti-bullying posters, bring in a guest speaker on bullying and let the students know that their school is now bully free. Reported bullying incidents decrease that year. The district is sued the subsequent year by the family of a young man who committed suicide claiming he had been bullied the previous year for being perceived gay. The parents claim that they had let two teachers and the contract school counselor know of persistent acts of bullying that had taken place throughout the entire school year. If the school district loses the lawsuit. Why? 25

26 Emerging Liability Theory Alleged Incident(s) Reported Inadequate response / action from school Liability Teachers/staff are not competent about the law School does little to prevent bullying behavior Teachers/staff do not know how to identify bullying / harassment Alleged Incident(s) Reported Inadequate response / action from school Liability

27 School Responsibilities Future Know the law Abide by school district policies Make sure students and staff understand the policies Implement programming that successfully reduces harmful student interactions Isolate and identify harmful student interactions Effectively Report/Investigate/Protect 27

28 Ohio Law Ohio law and reporting requirements Ohio's anti-bullying law is found in the Ohio Revised Code, section The law prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying in schools. It went into effect on March 30, 2007 In general, Have Policies and Procedures to address bullying incidents Respond, Investigate and Protect

29 Ohio Law The law requires all districts to: establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The policy must be developed in consultation with parents, students, school employees, and community members. The policy must include a statement prohibiting bullying of any student on school property or at school-sponsored events. a definition of bullying a procedure for reporting bullying. a requirement that parents or guardians of students who are involved in any bullying be notified and have access to any written reports about bullying incidents. a procedure for documenting, or keeping track, of any reported bullying. a procedure for responding to and investigating any reported bullying. a strategy for protecting a victim from additional bullying AND from retaliation for reporting bullying. a disciplinary procedure for a student guilty of bullying another student SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND SCHOOLS ARE REQUIRED TO TRAIN TEACHERS ON OHIOS ANTI-BULLY LEGAL REQUIREMENTS INCLUDING THE DISTRICTS POLICIES

30 References Early Warning, Timely Response, Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice of the American Institutes for Research in collaboration with the National Association of School Psychologists and the Us Department of Education Colvin, Kameenui, & Sugai (1993); Hawkins, Catalano, Kosterman, Abbott, & Hill (1999); Mayer (1995); Sprague & Walker, 2005; and Walker et al., (1996) Safe andSound, An Educational Leaders Guide to Evidence-Based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs (Developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) School Policies and Legal Issues Supporting Safe Schools, Thomas Hutton and Kirk Bailey Revised September 2007 (The Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence & Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory) Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Shelley H. Billig, Using Evidence to Make the case for Service-Learning as an Academic Achievement Intervention in K-12, RMC Research CorporationBerger, C., Karimpour, R. & Rodkin, P.C. (2008). Bradshaw, C.P., & Waasdorp, T. E. (2009). Measuring and changing a culture of bullying. School Psychology Review, 38, Bullies and victims at school: Perspectives and strategies for primary prevention. In School violence and primary prevention (pp ). New York: Springer. Bullying Bystanders, Linda R Jefferey Phd Prevention Researcher Volume:11 Issue:3 (2004) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Measuring Bullying Victimization, Perpetration, and Bystander Experiences: A Compendium of Assessment Tools (2012) Horner, R. H.,Sugai., & Anderson, C. M. (2010) Examining the evidence base for school-wide positive behavior support. Focus on Exceptional Children,. 42 (8) McKevitt, B. C. & Braaksma, A. (2008). Best practices in developing a positive behavior support system at the school level. In A. Thomas and J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology (Vol. 3; pp ). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, Principal Time-Use and School Effectiveness (2009) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2001). Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 30

31 Rick Rieser MS JD 31 Rick Rieser MS JD is an author, attorney, and behavioral-healthcare CEO. He holds a Masters in Family Science from the Ohio State University as well as a Juris Doctorate, with honors, from Capital Law School. Rick has over twenty-five years of experience creating best practice programming for children and adolescents with moderate to serious behavioral challenges. His programs have been successfully implemented in educational, community based, outpatient and intensive care settings. He has spoken nationally and internationally on implementing mental health, child welfare and juvenile justice programming. As the CEO of a large behavioral healthcare organization he has had the opportunity to create numerous programs that measurably reduced child and adolescent aggressive behavior. At the core of Ricks philosophy is the belief that focusing on strengths versus trying to control deficits most often yields the best results. He has on a number of committees and commissions including the National Advisory Council for the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Governors Council on Education Reform. He has been recognized for his work by the Ohio Council of Behavioral Healthcare Organization, CHOICES Peacemaker Award, Martin Luther King Jr Award (Ohio), Columbus Education Association Friend of Education Award and Capital University. Currently, Rick focuses his efforts on creating school based solutions to reduce harmful student interactions and advocating for the civil rights of students affected by bullying.


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