Presentation on theme: "April 2013 Webinar The contents of this webinar are not prescriptive best practices for every school or school district, but rather suggestions to consider."— Presentation transcript:
April 2013 Webinar The contents of this webinar are not prescriptive best practices for every school or school district, but rather suggestions to consider in a school or district’s risk management efforts.
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS ARE RETHINKIING EXACTLY WHAT CONSTITUTES A PRANK AND WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE—AND FINDING THAT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO DO MANY OF THESE PRANKS, MOSTLY HARMLESS AND DONE IN GOOD SPIRIT, CAN ESCALATE TO VANDALISM AND A SPIKE IN PROPERTY CLAIMS.
IN THE NEWS EVERY SPRING GRADUATION ISSUES NEWS MEDIA ALL OVER INSTANCES PARENTS UPSET UNREST AMONG STUDENTS/SENIORS TOUGH DECISIONS FOR SCHOOL AND DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS
Release of crickets and snakes in the hallways Driving tractors to school— Intoxicated-Indecent exposure Air let out of bus tires—Caused school to begin 2 hours late and some field trips had to be cancelled
Tossing of balloons filled with baby oil Seniors arrested for squirting glue into the locks of nearly 4 dozen school doors—students suspended—blocked from graduation ceremonies—won’t receive diplomas until they cover more than $5,000 in repairs
Students suspended for pulling fire alarms/causing evacuations/disruptions on final exam dates/banned from graduation Mice released in hallways from senior book bags Flash mob event in hallway cheering, throwing glitter, silly string—refusing to follow directions from administrators; safety issue
Student placed a blow-up sex doll in a restroom of the high school—custodian noted a suspicious person leaving restroom prior to school opening—administrators reviewed security cameras Noted someone enter with a package and leave without it 5 mins. later Fearing explosives—school lockdown for 3 hours while K9 and bomb squad searched Student faces potential of 8 years in jail Charged with felony—Institutional Criminal Mischief
MEETINGS WITH THE SENIOR CLASS Principal meets regularly with the senior class on behavior and consequences Representatives from DA office speak to students and parents on possible consequences School administrators working to build relationships with students, especially upperclassmen; be visible and accessible to them; ability to identify potential issues before they arrive
EXTRA STEPS WITH SECURITY PERSONNEL After spring break, notify local law enforcement and ask for road officers to make more frequent checks of school campuses Many hire extra security in the weeks prior to graduation to monitor campuses at night Some set up tip lines to report potential issues LIGHTING/LOCKED GATES/CAMERAS, ETC. In the last weeks of school, regularly check security cameras making sure they are functioning properly Verify that all exterior lighting is properly functioning Special attention to locking of all campus gates including access to all athletic fields
EDUCATING STUDENTS Regular announcements in am/pm reminding all students that they should not be on campus after school hours unless they are with a staff member or for a planned event Reminder emails and phone calls to parents Regular senior class meetings; discuss actions and consequences at each one Educate ALL students throughout the year on expectations for behavior and possible consequences KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Involvement of SRO is vital
INFORMATION TO PARENTS REGARDING POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES Emails, phone calls increased in the last weeks of school Newsletters Inform them of same cautions shared with students Ask them to have conversations with their children for reinforcement Refer to past instances
ADDITIONAL STEPS TAKEN LAST WEEKS OF SCHOOL IN TERMS OF EXTRA PRECAUTIONS AGAINST VANDALISM/PRANKS Remind students to “think before they act” “Know your students” Make sure all students know the expectations as well as the possible consequences Spending time building school pride goes a long way When kids care about their school they will help take care of it Relationships: One principal, “I try to do one or two fun/crazy things with them toward the end of schools. This year administrators did the Harlem Shake with them in student parking lot before school one morning.
“I just feel like if you allow them to do a couple of things that are fun and harmless it will prevent them from doing something crazy at an inappropriate time. I involve our SRO heavily and he is in most all of my meetings with students. I always tell them that I am okay with a senior prank as long as they do not destroy or damage property, be disrespectful to anyone and it can be easily cleaned up.” This is the principal of a large high school with around 1,900 students and has not had any major Issues over the last several years
MAINTENANCE PREPARATION Ability to notify all maintenance staff to report to site Materials for clean-up readily available Appropriate vandalism cleaner Example one district learned from experiences Power washers/sand blasters If not, ability to rent/obtain Tarps or other items to cover inappropriate areas prior to cleaning *Materials needed to repair broken windows
GRADUATION SITE Days to weeks prior to Overnight SRO or police/sheriff security for high schools with special emphasis on the graduation site Athletic field lights on at night several days prior for additional security Security sweeps of the field and spectator seating areas