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THREAT ASSESSMENTS CRISIS MANAGEMENT Threats and Crisis Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "THREAT ASSESSMENTS CRISIS MANAGEMENT Threats and Crisis Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 THREAT ASSESSMENTS CRISIS MANAGEMENT Threats and Crisis Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

2 A GUIDE FOR SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES BY THE OFFICE OF SAFE & DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS IN THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DATED JANUARY 2007 Practical Information for Crisis Planning Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

3 Definitions Crisis: an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending, especially one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome (Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary, 1987).” Threat: 1: an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage; 2: one that threatens; 3: an indication of something impending (Miriam-Webster, 2010). Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

4 What is a Crisis? Natural Factors  Death (natural causes)  Medical emergencies  Severe weather  Floods  Earthquakes  Fires  Tornadoes  Influenza pandemic  Other infectious disease Human Factors  School shootings (threat)  School shootings (actual)  Nation act of terrorism  Local act of terrorism  Suicide/ Homicide  Violent death of a student  Violent death of a teacher Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

5 Crisis Team Definition: a group of individuals who were designated to work together to prevent or intervene for a crisis. Consists of:  A building administrator.  Other building leaders (e.g., lead teacher, counselor, etc.).  Communicator within the building.  Communicator to outside of the building.  Caregiver to students and other faculty/ staff  Outside staff or personnel who need to be involved. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

6 Steps to Developing a Plan Identify the leader(s) Obtain input from the constituency Perform a needs assessment Determine communication patterns Practice communication patterns Use outside resources and agencies in your planning Decide upon and promote a common set of terms Tailor the plans to the community Plan for what to do with special populations Promote and distribute the plan Train and practice the plan Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

7 Phases of Crisis Management Mitigation/ Prevention  Reduce the damage if crisis is in progress  Keep the crisis from happening. Preparedness  Plans for each possible type of crisis  Focus on worst-case scenario. Response  What is going to be done during or before a crisis?  Who is going to do it? Recovery  What is going to be done when the crisis is over?  Who is going to do it? Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

8 Cycle of Crisis Management: Steps are Always in Progress Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

9 Mitigation & Prevention How safe (access and egress) are the facilities? How secure are the facilities? What policies and procedures work for or against helping? Are the individuals who know what to do? Do the individuals expect to participate in a crisis plan? Are there individuals who work better or worse together? Know faculty and staff skills (e.g., first aid, CPR, etc.) Know available local resources and how to contact them. Do the children know what to do and are trained? How are you going to communicate in a crisis? Have a crisis team and plan in place. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

10 Preparedness Have a crisis team and plan in place. Conduct a needs assessment on the stakeholders. Create relationship with internal and external help. Research what others have done in the past or other places. Tailor the plan for school’s needs and special crisis. Know what role each person will play. Have a “second in command” or backup person. How will communication take place (internal & external)? Have a crisis preparedness kit. Develop materials to distribute to share the plan. Practice the plan. Do the students need to stay or go? Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

11 Preparedness Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Stay or go?

12 Response Know you cannot plan for everything. Make sure everyone is protected FIRST Stay with the plan unless it really isn’t feasible. Make a decision. Respond. Get outside help (if needed). Lock down or evacuate as appropriate. Triage injuries. Keep yourself, your staff, & your materials organized. Trust your leaders. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Be flexible and adapt the plan if need be. Document everything (when appropriate). Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

13 Recovery Provide a caring and supportive environment. Focus is on getting back to normal. Plan for recover BEFORE the crisis. Re-assemble the crisis team after the crisis. Get back to work so that everyone begins to feel normal. Make sure that the facility is safe and secure. Assess how everyone is doing. Intervene if appropriate. Provide stress management help. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Conduct daily debriefings until no longer needed. Take as much time as you need. Evaluate how it went; make changes as needed. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

14 Group Counseling with Children Crisis Intervention Chapter 18

15 Responsibilities Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Evaluate severity of crisis in client’s perception. Appraise the client’s thinking, feelings, and behaviors. Determine the danger and length of time in the crisis mode. Look for contributing factors. Evaluate resources.

16 INTERVENTION PHASES Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Introductory phase Fact phase Feeling phase Symptoms phase Teaching phase Summary phase

17 Introductory Phase Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Ask members to introduce themselves and tell why they are in the group. Help members clarify their goals regarding what they would like to accomplish in the meeting. Discuss confidentiality – what group members talk about stays in the group. Get a commitment from all members to maintain confidentiality.

18 Introductory Phase Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Discuss basic rules: Take a bathroom break first because no one can leave the room after the group begins. Encourage group members to stay the entire time. The group generally runs 2 hours; the time depends on the ages of the children. Elect or appoint a co-leader or a peer leader to keep the gate (that is, not let people in or out). Remind the group that no group member holds rank over any other group member and that everyone’s participation is valued equally.

19 Intervention Phases Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Fact Phase Focus on discussing what happened. Encourage everyone to participate. Feeling Phase Ask, “What happened then?” Ask, “What are you experiencing now?”

20 Intervention Phases Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Clients’ Symptoms Ask, “How is this affecting you?” (Is the member having trouble sleeping, studying, or is the member worrying too much?). Ask, “How is this affecting your grades, your studies, your health?”

21 Intervention Phases Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Teaching Phase Explore the common responses to this incident. Brainstorm about how people have been responding to the incident. Discuss how each response is helpful or not helpful to people.

22 Intervention Phases Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Summary Phase Raise questions and provide answers. Summarize what has been learned and shared. Develop action plans for individuals and/or the group, if needed.

23 Intervention Phases Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning Summary Stage Provide support for group members to ensure their physical, emotional, and psychological safety. An action plan should be made to protect any group member needing protection. Conduct a follow-up meeting in 3 to 5 days to see how well the group members are coping. Arrange individual counseling sessions for group members who need further assistance.

24 U.S. SECRET SERVICE (VOSSEKUIL, FEIN, REDDY, BORUM, & MOZELSESKI (2002) Preventing School Violence Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

25 Create a Safe School Culture Genuine feelings of respect. School should be a “shame-free” zone. Students in pain are aware of who they can go to in order to receive help. Each student should have at least one adult they feel “connected” to. Students are encouraged to let the adults know when other students are in pain. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

26 Steps to Creating Safe School Climate Assessment of current school climate Emphasis on listening in schools. Adopt a strong, but caring, stance against the code of silence. Involve all members of school community in planning, creating, and sustaining a school culture of safety and respect. Develop trusting relationships between each student and at least on adult. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

27 Threat Assessment Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning U.S. SECRET SERVICE (FEIN, VOSSEKUIL, POLLACK, BORUM, MODZELESKI, & REDDY (2002)

28 Threats… by the numbers Out of 60 million children in 119,00+ schools:  15% of children in a physical fight  1.6 million thefts and 1.2 million nonfatal crimes (1998).  60 school-associated violent deaths (1998)  37 “targeted” attacks in 25 years (planned to be done at the school with deadly weapon). Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

29 Safe School Initiative Findings Overall Findings: Targeted Violence Rarely were sudden or impulsive. Usually someone else already knew it would happen. Targets not threatened directly prior to attack. No useful “profile.” Attackers usually have done something else before hand indicating a need for help. Attacker had difficulty dealing with loss. Many attackers had considered or attempted suicide. Many attackers felt bullied or attacked by others first. Had access to weapons ahead of time. Many times other students are involved. Many times the attack was not stopped by law enforcement. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

30 Safe School Initiative Findings Specific to Attacker: Targeted Violence Characteristics of the Attacker: All of the examined incidents were done by boys or young men. Most happened during the school day. Almost all were current students at the school. Most did the attack alone; although a few had help in the planning. Most used a gun as their weapon. Nearly 2/3 had never been in trouble before. 41% were doing well in school. 2/3 came from intact families. No significant number of previous hx of dx. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

31 Safe School Initiative Findings Specific to the Victim(s): Targeted Violence Characteristics of the Intended Victim(s): For half victim was faculty or staff; for half victim was student. In half there was more than one targeted victim. Most had some type of grievance held against them by the attacker. Only about ½ of the actual targeted victims were the ones who ended up hurt or killed. The other ½ were unintended victims. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

32 6 Principles of Threat Assessment Targeted violence is the end result of an understandable, and oftentimes discernible, process of thinking and behavior. Targeted violence stems from an interaction among the individual, the situation, the setting, and the target. An investigative, skeptical, inquisitive mindset is critical to successful threat assessment. Effective threat assessment is based upon facts, rather than on characteristics or "traits." An “integrated systems approach” should guide threat assessment inquiries and investigations. The central question in a threat assessment inquiry or investigation is whether a student poses a threat, not whether the student has made a threat. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

33 Building a Threat Assessment Team A senior school administrator should chair the team. Regular members of the team ideally should include:  1) a respected member of the school faculty or administration;  2) an investigator, such as a school resource officer or other police officer assigned to the school;  3) a mental health professional  4) other professionals  teachers, coaches, and others, who may be able to contribute to the threat assessment process. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

34 What Might You Look For? A student submits a story for an English assignment about a character that shoots other students in his school. Two students in a video class make a movie about kids who bring bombs to school. A dean receives an stating, "I’m going to kill everyone in this asylum.” A seventh-grader, who is feared by his classmates, cocks a finger at another boy on the playground and says "you’re gonna die.” A school bus driver tells the principal of a school that a group of students has been overheard whispering about bringing a gun to school. A ninth-grader reports that he has been threatened by another student and warned not to tell anybody about the threat. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

35 What do you do with that information? Establishing low barriers for reporting information. Advising students and adults of the kinds of information that should be brought forward: threats; weapon-seeking and weapon-using behavior; homicidal and suicidal behaviors; behaviors suggesting that a young person is contemplating, or planning, an attack. Ensuring that a thoughtful process is put in place in the school or school district to assess information that is brought forward. Recognizing that what is reported may often be different than what actually was said or occurred. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

36 What do you do with that information? A policy that it is everyone’s responsibility to help develop and maintain a respectful, safe school environment. Reinforcing positive behaviors by teachers, students, and staff in the school. Building linkages to individuals, groups, and organizations that can offer support and assistance to students and to the school. Have one point of contact for information to go to. Give feedback on information received when possible. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

37 What other information do you need? What specific information came to the team’s attention? Identifying information about the child. Background information about the child. Current life information about the child. Information about “attack-related” behaviors. Motivation for attack. Who is the target for attack? Review of all educational records. Collateral school interviews. Parent interviews. Interview student in question. Potential victim interview. Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

38 Specific Questions in Threat Assessment What are the student’s motive(s) and goals? Have there been any communications suggesting ideas or intent to attack? Has the subject shown inappropriate interest in weapons, violence, or school attacks? Has the student engaged in attack-related behaviors? Does the student have the capacity to carry out an act of targeted violence? Is the student experiencing hopelessness, desperation, and/or despair? Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning

39 Specific Questions in Threat Assessment Does the student have a trusting relationship with at least one responsible adult? Does the student see violence as an acceptable – or desirable – or the only- way to solve problems? Is the student’s conversation and “story” consistent with his or her actions? Are other people concerned about the student’s potential for violence? What circumstances might affect the likelihood of an attack.? Copyright 2007 Brooks/Cole, a division of Thomson Learning


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