School Violence/Crisis: Lessons From The Front Lines Scott Poland, Ed.D. Nova Southeastern University National Emergency Assistance Team [email protected] Parents Of U.S. School Violence Victims Call For. More religion Reduce gun access to children Better parenting and supervision
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School Violence/Crisis: Lessons From The Front LinesScott Poland, Ed.D.Nova Southeastern UniversityNational Emergency Assistance [email protected]
Principal says we will never be the same
School closes on 4/20 every year
Enrollment declined and 80 % staff turnover
Remodeling and cosmetic changes
Litany of more losses
Status of law suits
Improved crisis planning
Better communication between police and schools
Improved assessment of threats
US Secret Service Study of school violence
More police in schools
of pain that makes you physically sick,
so depressed you can't function and so
sad that eating a bullet seems welcoming."
Internet Entry- 2005
Plan for a rapid, coordinated,effective response
Decrease the need
Restore the learning
and assist the healing
Execute the plan
Identification with or similarity
Near family or close friend
Difficult personal or social crisis
Significant loss in the past year
Recent or similar trauma
Outside the disaster area
Within hearing distance
Near the disaster area
Population at Risk
**Importance of caretaker/adult reactions**
PROTECTIVE FACTORS to 19
PROTECTIVE FACTORS to 19
Share information in developmentally appropriate ways.
No one should be lied to or misled about the circumstances. Recognize all the connections around the school system.
Students need to hear sad or tragic news from trusted adults and should be able to ask questions.
Turn off TVs and gather students in a circle and talk about the event and their perceptions, safety concerns and sources of help.
Help everyone identify previous and current sources of support.
How to structure recovery section of emergency management plan
Opening or closing schools after an event occurs
Public, staff and student communications
Memorials after a student or staff death
How to handle key dates
Sanford Model to 19Purposes:-Sort out thoughts.-Identifies what’s needed for safety.-Everyone is likely to talk.-Guided discussion…-Developed to fit a classroom period or faculty meeting.-Mental health professional summarizes and reviews at session’s end.
Benefits to 19- Reduces isolation and increases understanding.- Creates empathetic bonds.- Provides mental health information.- Works well with group size of over 30 and especially with adults and high school students.- Model should be viewed as a starting point.- Ideally model recommended first with faculty and then with students the next day.
Format to 19- Personnel: Facilitator leads the session Timekeeper Caregivers provide assistance to anyone who leaves the room.- Supplies needed: Kleenex Water- Groups of 4-8- Sit in a circle.- One person chosen to respond first.
All comments are confidential.
Each person takes a turn (clockwise).
One person speaks at a time.
Time is limited.
Cross talking is discouraged.
Group members’ responsibility: listen
Initiate contact and engagement
Ensure safety and comfort
Gather information on current needs and concerns
Provide practical assistance
Connect with social supports
Provide information on coping
Link with collaborative services
Source: National Child Traumatic Stress Network and National Center for PTSD, Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide, September, 2005
The “Conspiracy of Silence”!
“My student is fascinated by violent video games and plays them for hours….should I be worried?”
Once a threat is made, having a fair , rational, and standard method of evaluating and responding is critical!
School safety is an inside job that involves a commitment from the student body!
“We must reach out to the unreachable!” from the student body!Craig ScottColumbine SurvivorKeys to prevention are getting disillusioned youth involved in activities, finding a job and establishing social ties!