Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tips to report school threats

For the past several weeks, since the Florida school shooting, the School Management Alliance has been participating in a select working group of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force to address how school districts can best protect students and staff from violence. The work has been focused on three main categories: behavioral threat assessment, hardening of facilities, and response protocol in schools. Final edits are being made to the dozen or so recommendations for best practices in school safety. That list will be made available in the coming days.

In the aftermath of the February 14th shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there was a spike in threats to schools warning of imminent violent acts. Nationally, the threats were reported by the hundreds, with Illinois as one of the states with the most reported threats. The immediate question was, “what should school administrators do when such an incident occurs?”

The first document created and vetted by the working group, led by the Illinois State Police, was on how to communicate with law enforcement, parents, board members, staff, and community members if a school district is faced with such an event. That document is available here.

School administrators and board members are encouraged to review this document, as well as current emergency procedures and protocols.