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Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
Quick Reference Guide
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Quick Reference Guide

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  • 1. QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO SCHOOL CRISIS RESPONSE AND THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT Los Angeles Unified School District Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services (Revised 2004) Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 2. Copyright 2002 by Los Angeles Unified School District Revised 2004 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without written permission of the Los Angeles Unified School District If you wish to obtain copies of this document, please contact Barbara Colwell, at (213) 742-8286, barbara.colwell@lausd.net. There will be a cost for reproduction and shipping. i Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 3. Office of The Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services INTRODUCTION In 1984, the Los Angeles Unified School District established its first crisis intervention teams in response to the sniper shooting at 49th Street Elementary School. Since that tragedy, our LAUSD Crisis Teams have developed into the finest system of response to critical incidents and have gained national recognition. Revised Bulletin N-18 outlines District policy based on lessons learned from thousands of crises, including school shootings, and several large-scale disasters. The structure, which makes our teams effective in large or small incidents, is the requirement for two kinds of teams – the School Site Crisis Team and the Local District Operations Crisis Team. This Quick Reference Guide was developed by staff from the district offices listed on the title page. The material included here is intended to provide some basic information on how a school can select and organize its school site crisis team. The School Site Crisis Team should now identify 3 individuals among the team members to provide Threat Assessment and Management (TAM). A similar number of individuals will be identified at the local district level. The Los Angeles City Board of Education has adopted the following policy: “Making Threats is No Joke”. All threats must be taken seriously and investigated at each school site. FBI and Secret Service studies of threatening students over the past five years have shown that suspensions transfer or arrest do not resolve the problems of the student or the threat to the school. A separate section of the Guide gives specific information about the process of evaluating and intervening after a threat has been made. This Guide, used in the District's crisis training programs for school and Local District personnel, is not meant to answer all questions. But it is a beginning point to insure that the local school site is ready to respond to a critical incident, a threat, an earthquake or other disaster. Nothing takes the place of training, drills and other measures for preparedness. Assess the needs of your school and determine what steps must be taken to be truly prepared. ii Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 4. If you have questions or need further assistance in developing your school site team, please contact your Local District Operations Coordinator, whose leadership has been instrumental in effective school crisis response. Marleen Wong or Barbara Colwell from the Office of the Chief Operating Officer are also available for general questions or concerns. Remember that every adult on campus can be an important caregiver and contribute to the safety and welfare of students after a crisis. Thank you for your attention to this important component of school safety - the development of your school site crisis team. Tim Buresh, Chief Operating Officer Marleen Wong, Director Los Angeles Unified School District Los Angeles Unified School District (213) 241-4133 (213) 241-2174 Crisis Intervention Services marleen.wong@lausd.net tim.buresh@lausd.net Barbara Colwell, L.C.S.W. Los Angeles Unified School District Crisis Intervention Services (213) 742-8286 barbara.colwell@lausd.net iii Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ________________________________ The information in this publication was written, prepared and compiled by the following staff personnel of the Los Angeles Unified School District OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Tim Buresh Chief Operating Officer Marleen Wong, Director Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services Barbara Colwell, L.C.S.W. Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services DISTRICT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES Rich Lieberman School Psychologist ORGANIZATION FACILITATOR Rosemary Rubin Counselor SCHOOL POLICE DEPARTMENT Nancy Ramirez Deputy Chief Steve Dodson Lieutenant Jeff Crawford Lieutenant ________________________________ iiii Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 6. QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO SCHOOL CRISIS RESPONSE THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT Table of Contents What is a Crisis… 1 District Policy – Crisis Intervention (Bulletin No. 962) 2 Threat Assessment (Bulletin 1119) 7 The School Site Crisis Team… 13 School Crisis Team Tasks…. 14 District Crisis Team Procedures…. 15 General Steps in Crisis Intervention.... 18 Initial Interview Protocol…. 23 Triage and Assessment Chart…. 25 Crisis Flow Chart…. 26 The School Site Threat Assessment and Management Team… 27 General Steps in Threat Assessment and Management…. 28 Reporting Emergency Information to Law Enforcement Personnel/School Police… 34 Flow Chart for Threat Assessment…. 35 When a School Becomes a Crime Scene/The Role of Law Enforcement… 36 Death Notification..... 38 General Steps in Legal Reporting Procedures..... 39 Dealing with a Suicide or Suicide Attempts..… 41 Dealing with the News Media When a Crisis Occurs... 42 Language Needs/Cultural Awareness ... 44 Helping Children Understand the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11…. 45 LAUSD Resource List.... 47 Guidelines for Referrals Outside the Los Angeles Unified School District..... 49 Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 7. Sample School Letters and Memos... 50 Notes…. 57 WHAT IS A CRISIS 1. A natural disaster, for example, a fire or an earthquake 2. An accident on school grounds, for example, a plane crashes on the playground during recess 3. An accident near school grounds, for example, a tanker truck overturns on the freeway nearby and is leaking gas 4. A violent incident in or near the school, for example, a high school student shoots another on campus 5. A violent incident involving a student or staff member off school grounds, for example, a teacher is murdered by a family member 6. The suicide of a student or staff member, for example, during the school year, a fifth-grader commits suicide by taking pills 7. The suicide of a family member of a student or staff member, for example, the brother of a student shoots himself 8. The accidental death of a student or staff member, for example, an eighth grader drowns in an irrigation canal 9. The accidental death of a family member of a student or staff member, for example, a teacher's daughter is killed in a car accident. 10.The terminal illness of a student or staff me, for example, a second grade student dies of cancer during the school year Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
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  • 12. SCHOOL SITE CRISIS TEAM The chart below is a suggested list of crisis team positions that can be designated from among existing local school staff. In addition to the person with the lead responsibility for each function, consider selecting two alternates with similar capabilities in case the lead person is not available when a crisis occurs. (Example: an alternate to the school nurse should be someone who has had basic first aid and/or CPR training.) Positions and responsibilities may vary or overlap according to the abilities and needs of school staff. When the chart is completed at the beginning of each school year (October is the annual due date), it should be distributed to all staff so that everyone will be aware of who is responsible for specific crisis response functions. Provide staff with an updated list if personnel or designated assignments change during the year. POSITION NAMES * RESPONSIBILITY/FUNCTION Incident Commander (Usually the principal or designee) Crisis Team Leader Administrator(s) School Counselor(s) School Nurse PSA Counselor Psychiatric Social Worker School Police Officer Plant Manager Cafeteria Manager Community Liaison Teacher Representative(s) Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 13. _________________________________________________ * Numbered (1,2,3) in the preferred order of lead person, first alternate, etc. -13- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 14. SCHOOL CRISIS TEAM TASKS The LAUSD Crisis intervention consists of a “two tier” system of response. The school site crisis team provides the first level of response, assessing the needs of the students and staff. 1. Assist teachers who have asked for help in talking with students. 2. Staff a crisis room for students to report to if needed. 3. Designate a room or area for staff and or parents. 4. Discuss the needs of the identified at-risk students and staff; plan possible interventions. 5. Plan for comprehensive communication with parents. 6. Decide if any athletic contests or other scheduled events should be canceled. Review the bell schedule for appropriateness. 7. Obtain pertinent information from the family contact person. 8. Plan support groups for at-risk students, if needed. 9. Plan a debriefing meeting for staff, to be held at the end of the day. 10.Check in with one another for support. 11.If the local district crisis team is called to the school be prepared to brief the District Crisis Team members and to provide them with logistical support. -14- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 15. DISTRICT CRISIS TEAM PROCEDURES When the school site team, led by the principal or his/her designee, determines that the crisis is beyond the experience and expertise of the school site team, the principal must call the Local District Operations Coordinator to request further assistance. LOCAL DISTRICT OPERATIONS COORDINATOR Receives telephone call from Principal/designee requesting local District Crisis Team assistance. Obtains information regarding crisis Contacts District Crisis Team Leader LOCAL DISTRICT CRISIS TEAM LEADER Requests information from the Principal/designee at school for factual information Is the on-site team handling the situation? Are the services of the District Crisis Team needed? Selects a member of District Crisis Team to assess situation at the school site (becomes the point person) Point person reports back to the District Crisis Team Leader if District Crisis Teams members are needed for crisis response at the school site Contacts District team members as needed for crisis situation Contacts Operation Administrator to apprise of the situation LOCAL DISTRICT CRISIS TEAM POINT PERSON Determines need for services Reports back to the District Crisis Team Leader to contact other team members needed for crisis situation Point Person remains at school site and designates assignments as team members arrive -15- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 16. LOCAL DISTRICT CRISIS TEAM MEMBERS AT THE SCHOOL SITE Check in at the Main Office Sign in and meet with the Point Person Obtain Bell Schedule, School map, Staff list (if appropriate) Report to assigned meeting area Classroom interventions Teacher interventions Group/individual interventions (through referral process) Parent interventions Classified interventions Meet as team at end of day to determine further services and notify Team Leader AT CLOSE OF CRISIS District Crisis Team Leader completes Crisis/Threat Activity Report Fax to Marleen Wong, Director of Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services (213) 241-6816 Fax copy to Operation Administrator__________________________ See next page for Crisis/Threat Activity Report Form -16- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 17. OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services Crisis/Threat Assessment Activity Report DISTRICT____________ Please provide the following information for each incident in which you were sent to a school from July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005. Date of Report (not date of incident): Name of Reporting Individual: Title: Name of School Where Crisis/Threat Occurred: Date Incident Began: Date Service Ended: Total Days: Brief Description of Crisis/Threat: Brief Description of Services Provided: Number of Crisis Team members Deployed to the School: If Crisis Team deployed for more than one day, note the number of team members each day: Please FAX the completed form to Marleen Wong, Director of Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services at 213.241.6816(FAX). You may contact her at (213) 241-2174 if you have questions. Thank you for taking the time to complete this report and for your hard work, support, and assistance throughout the year. -17- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 18. GENERAL STEPS IN CRISIS INTERVENTION The following steps are to be taken after the school has followed law enforcement and/or safety procedures for responding to the immediate emergency. Within the sections below, some steps may be taken concurrently or in a different order than shown, depending on the circumstances. I. ASSESSMENT A. Convene the local school crisis team. B. Identify problem and determine degree of impact on school. C. Determine whether additional support is needed and request it by contacting: 1. School Police and/or local law enforcement agency. 2. The Local District Operations Coordinator. 3. Other LAUSD staff: Mental Health Services, Suicide Prevention, etc. II. COMMUNICATIONS A. Administrator/designee/crisis team leader/incident commander should: 1. Review facts to determine what information can be shared and which individuals or groups should receive the information. (Consider police investigation parameters in making this determination.) 2. Contact family(ies) of victim(s) with sensitivity and in a timely manner. (Personal contact by the school administrator is preferable. However, in case of death, the first notification to parents or family is handled by law enforcement personnel after law enforcement is informed officially by the coroner's office.) B. Develop and disseminate fact sheet (bilingual if needed) about the incident for: 1. Faculty and staff. 2. Students, as appropriate. 3. Parents. C. Set up a status board/chart in or near main office or other appropriate location to periodically update basic information given in printed fact sheets. D. Plan other communication activities: 1. Informational meetings for faculty/staff. 2. Informational meetings for parents/community. -18- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 19. E. Keep the Office of Communications and/or the communications officer sent to the school informed about on- and off-campus informational activities. Because the Office of Communications will be a key resource for media, provide the office copies (via fax) of any memos or letters the school provides to staff, students, parents and community. F. Establish a system to monitor rumors and provide for rumor control. 1. As information is received, verify all facts heard and update fact sheet as needed. 2. It is helpful to keep a radio and/or TV set in the administrator's office and/or the designated incident command center tuned to one or more major news stations. Encourage school-community liaison representatives to help monitor broadcasts at home or office to keep the school informed about inaccurate or false media reports so that misinformation being broadcast can be corrected as soon as possible by the school or the Office of Communications. G. When an incident occurs, contact on-campus and directly adjacent school programs (such as children's centers, continuation schools, adult schools), as well as neighboring schools, to share information and determine further impact on school-community for siblings, PWT students or others who could be affected by the crisis. Such contacts can be made by phone, fax or in person. III. PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID/COUNSELING A. Logistics – select likely locations in advance to be activated as needed for the following functions, plus an alternate site for each if the first one is not available or if more space is necessary. The advance list can be shared with staff as part of a crisis readiness plan, but the actual locations should be provided in a memo to staff as soon as it is determined after a particular crisis or incident that counseling will be provided: 1. Crisis counseling referral center 2. Group counseling 3. Individual counseling 4. Information and support center for parents 5. Support center for certificated and classified staff Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 20. 6. Sign-in area for crisis team members -19- 7. News media briefing room or area (identify sites on campus and also just outside campus gates or fences; remember to plan for small groups and for larger groups of a dozen or more, including TV crews with cameras) B. Student referrals for crisis intervention services: 1. Inform teachers of the process for referring students during class time. 2. Inform teachers of procedures for student self-referrals. 3. Select a crisis team member to staff each location. 4. Provide bilingual services as needed. C. Affected students, staff and others: 1. Using triage method of risk screening (a process for determining who will be treated first in an emergency), identify individuals at risk who may be in need of intervention services (see factors in a. and b. below). a. Risk factors by exposure/contact (in order of greatest risk): 1) Direct exposure – victims/witnesses/perpetrators/suspects. 2) On-site – students, faculty, staff, parents. 3) Off-campus – students/staff absent on day of incident. 4) Out-of-vicinity – ex: friends at other nearby schools. b. Other risk factors: 1) Familiarity with victims. 2) Previous trauma or loss, especially during the past year. 3) Worry about safety of family member or significant other. 4) Family response psychopathology – family dysfunction. 4) Individual psychopathology – history of previous individual dysfunction. 2. Designated crisis team member(s) contact affected individuals and initiate appropriate interventions, including: a. Individual counseling. b. Group counseling. c. Staff meetings (include faculty and all staff) d. Parent/community meetings. e. Classroom activities/presentations/discussions. f. Referrals to community agencies. IV. PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL CHANGES – Post-Traumatic “Distress Signals” Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 21. Individuals – children, teens and adults – may experience and exhibit a wide range of post-traumatic stress disorder reactions after a crisis or disaster. Administrators, faculty and school staff should be aware that these changes are -20- not unusual for anyone who has gone through or been affected by a crisis-type event. These symptoms may be considered a normal response to an abnormal event in the lives of students and staff. A referral to a mental health professional for extended care and support should be considered when symptoms persist after three months and if symptoms are delayed and recur after six months. Examples of some reactions are listed here: A. Physical Changes • Pupils dilate • Eating patterns interrupted • Saliva thickens • Heart rate increases • Startle responses increase • Sleep patterns interrupted (nightmares) B. Mental Changes • Difficulty with memory • Slower learning speed • Decreased computational skills • Impaired decision-making skills • Decreased ability to analyze • Decreased self-awareness • Difficulty following what is said or read • Intrusive thoughts and images of the event C. Emotional Changes • Feelings of isolation • Anxiety • Developmental regression • Decreased intimacy • Depressive feelings • Lack of trust • Lack of enthusiasm* • Return to past hurts and trauma • Denial • Guilt • Anger • Fear * Sometimes referred to as "anhedonia" – an inability to feel pleasure or happiness for experiences that are ordinarily pleasurable. Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 22. -21- V. INCIDENT DEBRIEFINGS AND SUPPORT OF MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTIONS A. A daily, mandatory factual debriefing for all members of school crisis team and Local District crisis teams should cover the following: 1. Review actions of the day. 2. Identify weaknesses and strengths of crisis interventions. 3. Review status of referred students. 4. Prioritize intervention activities and personnel needed for the next day. 5. Plan follow-up actions. B. Informational debriefing for school staff should be held daily or as needed to: 1. Review actions of the day. 2. Prioritize needs for the next day. 3. Plan follow-up actions. C. Mental health interventions for students/staff/crisis counselors/others to help them cope with what happened and give them a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings (contact Mental Health Services for assistance, if needed). Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 23. -22- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 24. INITIAL INTERVIEW PROTOCOL I. Factual Information Where was s/he when the event occurred? What was seen, heard and /or told to the child of the event? How does s/he know the victims and others involved? Has s/he had any previous experience with violent trauma, serious illness, or sudden, unexpected loss? II. Subjective Response to the Event How was s/he feeling just before the event? What is his/her recall of the day? What was the most disturbing moment? What was the worst fear? What keeps coming back to mind the most about what was seen, heard, and/or told? Does s/he have bad dreams? What kinds of things most remind him/her about what happened? What kinds of things make him/her think it will happen again? III. New Behaviors What new fears does s/he have? (i.e. being alone, going to certain places, going to sleep, going to the bathroom alone, etc.) Are there any new regressive behaviors? Does s/he worry that something bad will happen to parents, siblings or self? (Won’t let them out of sight, asks when they are coming back, talks about steps to protect them) Are there avoidant behaviors? (i.e. won’t go near certain places or things) Are there unusual aggressive behavior or misconduct? Is there traumatic play? (Repetition of event or rescue theme) IV. New Concerns What feeling doe the child say is the toughest to handle? What concerns does the child have about how the parents or siblings are reacting? (e.g. Seeing them crying or anxious) Is the child afraid to let the parents know how s/he is feeling for fear it would upset or anger them? Have there been changes in the child’s life or daily routine because of the event? Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 25. -23- V. Type of Grief Response What thought or dreams does s/he have involving the victims? If sad, what does the sadness make him/her think of? If angry, what makes him/her angry? What is his/her understanding of the physical reality of death? VI. Exploring Coping Responses What thought or memories help him/her feel better? What would help him/her feel better or safer right now? Who are the people (friends, family members, teachers, clergy, etc.,) s/he can Turn to when feeling badly? What constructive action or activity have they taken or been involved in since The tragic event? VII. Closing The Interview Briefly review what the student has told you. (“Can I review what you’ve told me? Tell me if I’ve heard you correctly.”) Give the student your admiration and praise. (“I really admire you for being able to share your experience with me. You are a very courageous person. You’ve been through something that all people, adults and children, would find difficult”) Share your professional experience about expectable outcomes. (Describe the range of normal somatic, cognitive and emotional responses to trauma, the course of strength and duration of symptoms, the need for professional assistance if symptoms persist in strength over time). Identify helping professionals in the school should the student have questions or want counseling. Share your schedule of availability, if appropriate thank the student for his/her time and for permitting you to understand more about what s/he has gone through in the aftermath of tragedy. -24- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 26. -25- CRISIS FLOW CHART CRISIS OCCURS AT THE SCHOOL SITE, the Principal convenes the local school crisis team School Site Crisis Team meets School Site Crisis Team provides intervention If crisis is beyond expertise of School Site team, Principal contacts the LDOC AT THE LOCAL DISTRICT LEVEL, District Operations Coordinator convenes Local District Crisis Team Members of the District Crisis Team provide intervention at school site Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 27. -26- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 28. SCHOOL SITE THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT TEAM The School Site Threat Assessment and Management Team (TAMT) is comprised of 3 individuals from the school site crisis team: • Administrator (Principal, Assistant Principal or Designee) • Mental Health Professional (Psychiatric Social Worker, Pupil Services and Attendance Counselor or School Psychologist trained in threat assessment) • Law Enforcement Personnel (LAUSD School Police) The latter two individuals may be school site employees or individuals accessed via the Local District Operations Coordinator if no mental health professional or school police officer is available to the school. Utilizing your school crisis team chart (see page 10 of this Guide), designate from among existing school staff, the three members of the threat assessment and management team. As in the example below, one of the TAMT members serves as a case manager of all actions taken, organizing and recording the steps to be taken for interviews, district and community referrals, information gathering, follow-up, etc., POSITION NAMES * RESPONSIBILITY/FUNCTION Incident Commander (Usually the principal or designee) Crisis Team Leader Administrator(s) Threat Assessment and Management School Counselor(s) School Nurse PSA Counselor Psychiatric Social Worker Threat Assessment and Management (Case Manager for TAMT) School Police Officer Threat Assessment and Management Teacher Representative(s) Plant Manager Cafeteria Manager Community Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 29. -27- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 30. GENERAL STEPS IN THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT Threat assessment and management is a systematic method of identifying, assessing and managing a response to those who may have the desire, the motivation and the ability to cause harm to persons within a school community. Threat assessment and management can be a comprehensive and an effective approach that is usually within the capability of school personnel to apply to a threat situation. I. BACKGROUND While "school violence" and "youth violence" on or around school campuses have decreased substantially from the levels of the early 1990s, a number of particularly violent incidents have occurred in the past several years at schools throughout the country. These incidents and threats of incidents, especially those involving firearms, explosive devices and multiple fatal and non-fatal injuries, have prompted school districts, law enforcement agencies and community leaders to explore how to counteract such disastrous events, which can traumatize a school's students, staff, administrators and parents for months or years. Even with a greater focus on threat assessment and management as a potential protective measure, it must be stated that this or any other method for gauging threats should be considered an absolute or foolproof guarantee that an act of violence cannot or will not occur on a school campus. An understanding of threat assessment and management as a helpful tool and an investment of time in training sessions can have value in preparing schools and their staffs to take action if a threat situation should arise. II. THE PROCESS OF THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT The following steps are to be taken after a threat has been made at a school site. Within the sections below, some steps may be taken concurrently or in a different order than shown, depending on the circumstances. A. ASSESSMENT l. Convene the Threat Assessment and Management Team, comprised of the school site Administrator, Mental Health and Law Enforcement Professionals. The latter two individuals may be school site employees, such as a psychiatric social worker and school police officer or individuals accessed via the local district operations coordinator. 2. Identify specific threat and determine degree of impact on the school. -28- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 31. 3. Determine whether additional support is needed and request it if appropriate. a. Local District Operations Coordinator b. Local Law enforcement agency such as LAPD c. LA County Department of Mental Health – Psychiatric Emergency Team B. COMMUNICATIONS Create a Threat Assessment Folder and write down all you know, in detail, about the threat made by the student. Document all steps taken and date all materials placed in the Threat Assessment folder. Until such time as the assessment is completed, strict confidentiality about student information should be kept among team members and appropriate district staff. C. ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL 1. Administrator/Threat Assessment Team leader should: a. Determine which team member will be the case manager for this incident. The Threat assessment case manager will be responsible for maintaining the Threat Assessment folder and assigning responsibility for specific tasks such as interviews, record review, resource referrals, and any other tasks necessary for evaluation. b. Review school history, including cumulative and health records c. Interview all adults on campus who have had contact with the student including: current and past teachers, counselor, psychologist, social worker, School Police, office staff, etc. 1. Ask for all written materials and pictures from staff produced by the student related to threats 2. Advise staff listed above to monitor student behavior 3. Advise staff of the need to keep information confidential 2. Interview friends and associates of student and students who may have been threatened. a. Ask for all written materials and pictures from peers produced by the student related threats b. Determine if the student has sent any threatening emails c. Ask peers to share future concerns, written material, pictures or emails produced by the student to the administrator in charge of the Threat Assessment and Management Team -29- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 32. 3. Interview the parents a. Get a universal release of information form signed (providing school staff with the ability to share and receive information from juvenile justice or mental health agencies b. Get a psychosocial history of the student c. Identify any new family or individual stressors, including changes in the family, loss or separation, or violence at home or in the neighborhood d. Ask if the student or any member of the family is currently receiving counseling or mental health services in the community 4. Interview the parents a. Ask if the student or any member of the family has an arrest record or has been incarcerated b. Ask if there are weapons in the home or if the student has access to weapons from family or friends 5. Interview the student a. Get a psychosocial history from the student b. Identify any new family or individual stressors, including changes in the family, loss or separation, or violence at home or in the neighborhood c. Ask if there are weapons in the home or if the student has access to weapons from family or friends In the event of a Team decision that the student poses an imminent threat to self or others: Call the LA County Psychiatric Mobile Response Team or SMART Team to conduct a 5150 assessment for involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. D. CASE MANAGER’S ROLE IN THREAT MANAGEMENT The case manager will reconvene the Threat Assessment and Management Team (TAMT) and serve as chairperson for the TAMT 1. Review all information from written material, art and interviews. 2. Determine what assistance or further evaluation the student needs. Assign staff responsible for referrals to services. Document Team recommendations in the Threat Assessment folder. 3 Determine what school or community services may assist the family Assign staff responsible to assist the parents to make contacts with resources. Document Team recommendations in the Threat Assessment folder. -30- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 33. 4. Schedule school or district evaluations, if appropriate, e.g., school psychologist or IEP meeting. 5. Submit summary report to the Office of the Chief Operating Officer. E. THREAT MANAGEMENT AS AN ONGOING PROCESS The Threat Assessment and Management Team may need to be reconvened over the course of a school year, as needed. • If the student’s condition does not improve or worsens, or • If the student has been removed from the school for any reason and is returned 1. The TAMT case manager will gather updated information about the student’s treatment, probation or other follow-up services that the school has recommended. 2. Monitor the student and maintain open communication with staff, students, school and community service providers. III. A WORKING DESCRIPTION OF THE SCHOOL THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT UNIT OF THE SCHOOL CRISIS TEAM (or THREAT ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT TEAM) A. The Threat Assessment and Management Team will include specific members of the school's crisis intervention team, as described in Bulletin 1119 (see p. 2 of Bulletin 1119 in this Quick Reference Guide for the composition and responsibilities of the unit). The unit will include at least one administrator, one mental health professional (counselor, psychologist or psychiatric social worker) and one school police officer. B. The primary functions of the 3 member team are to: 1. Identify the type of threat and the individual(s) or group(s) making the threat. • What specific threat has been made: personal injury, death, vandalism, arson, extortion, or other criminal act? • Is a specific individual or group named as the target – teacher, student, swim team, marching band, school newspaper staff, other? • Is the individual or group making the threat identifiable in the threat message? Or, has the threat been made anonymously? (The remainder of this section applies to situations where a student is communicating a threat. Obviously, different actions – including, perhaps, an appropriate response by LAUSD school police or a local law enforcement personnel – may be required if the Threat comes from an adult on campus, such as an employee or parent, or from someone with no obvious or immediate connection to the school community.) -31- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 34. 2. Assess the warning signs, risk factors, stabilizing factors and potential precipitating events that could trigger the threat into action or help diminish its substance, based on a review of relevant school records. (The examples noted below are not meant to be all-inclusive.) • Warning signs: Verbal clues – threats, plans, recurrent suicide threats. Bizarre thoughts – delusions, paranoia, hallucinations. Behaviors – possession of weapons, setting fires, fighting, assault, intimidating others, cruelty to animals. Obsessions – perceived injustices, thoughts of death or violence, grudges, resentments. • Risk factors: Family issues – domestic violence, child abuse, ineffective parenting. Media violence – movies, TV news coverage or fictional drama of a violent event, interactive computer games, rap or song lyrics, etc. Rejection, humiliation, prejudice – best friend or boyfriend/girlfriend issues, perceived societal favoritism toward particular racial group. Victim of bullying. Substance abuse – alcohol, street drugs, prescription drugs, over-the- counter medications. Gun access – street purchase, home availability, burglary, theft. • Precipitating (triggering) events: Situational crisis – recent break-up with girlfriend/boyfriend, fight, recent arrest or other negative contact with law enforcement officer, failing grade or worse-than-expected grade in class. • Stabilizing factors: Levels of support that could reduce the strength of the individual's feelings of hostility – involvement of family, friends, mentor, clergy, mental health counselor. 3. Determine the category or level of risk for a particular point in time. The five categories described by an LAPD psychologist cover a continuum from imminent risk to moderate-to-low risk. The categories are: • Category 1 – High violence potential; qualifies for immediate arrest or hospitalization. • Category 2 – High violence potential; does not qualify for arrest or hospitalization. • Category 3 – Insufficient evidence for violence potential; sufficient evidence for the repetitive/intentional infliction of emotional distress upon others. • Category 4 – Insufficient evidence for violence potential; sufficient Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 35. evidence for the unintentional infliction of emotional distress upon others. -32- • Category 5 – Insufficient evidence for violence potential; insufficient evidence for emotional distress upon others. In determining risk, remember: • The clearer and more organized the threat message, the greater the potential for following through on the threat, as compared to communications that are chaotic and suggest that the one communicating the threat is more likely to be acting impulsively at that particular moment. • The more consistently the theme of blame in the threat message is related to specific significant areas of the communicator's life, the greater the risk that the threat could be carried out. 4. Make a recommendation to the site administrator, who will decide what course of action to take. (Collaboration with Local District or LAUSD Office of the Chief Operating Officer staff may be desirable or necessary at an early stage, depending on the level of risk to other). Decisions made and actions taken should result in: • Contact with and/or apprehension of the person(s) who initiated and/or who might carry out the threat. • Warning and protection for the targeted victim(s) of the threat. • Continuation of a safe school environment. Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 36. -33- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 37. REPORTING EMERGENCIES TO COMMUNITY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND/OR LAUSD SCHOOL POLICE • For life-threatening emergencies, call 911 first – then call the School Police Department Watch Commander at (213) 625-6631. • For serious incidents (i.e., battery against student or employee, school vandalism, etc.), call the School Police Department Watch Commander at (213) 625-6631. • For routine follow-up reports on earlier incidents, call the School Police Area Detective at (213) 742-8273. Police Satellite Offices: Valley - (818) 893-6423; Westside - (310) 575-3202; Harbor/South - (323) 569-6314 (no voice mail); PROCEDURE WHEN CALLING: 1. Identify yourself and your location. Give call-back numbers (office, cell, pager) where you can be reached most easily. 2. Summarize the nature of the problem or incident. 3. Give the location of the problem or incident. 4. Describe the person(s) or suspect(s) involved: • Identify student, staff member, non-student, parent, other. • Provide a physical description: male/female, ethnicity, age, height, weight, hair color and style, color of eyes, clothing worn (color, hat, shoes, etc). • Other information (i.e., known or suspected gang affiliation). 5. Describe weapon(s) involved, if any: • Type. • Location (on person, in vehicle, etc.) • Manner used (threat, actual use, etc.) 6. Describe method of transportation used by person(s) or suspect(s) involved: • Indicate car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, skates, bus, etc.). • If motor vehicle, give color, year, make, model, license plate. • Indicate last known direction of travel. • Any other information (i.e., number of persons in car). 7. Request medical assistance, if needed (note if already requested through 911) 8. Tell School Police Department if another law enforcement agency has also been contacted. -34- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 38. -35- WHEN A SCHOOL BECOMES A CRIME SCENE / THE ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL The goals of law enforcement personnel are to stop criminal acts, to apprehend suspects, to assist victims and to collect and preserve evidence. When a criminal act occurs or is suspected on a school campus or immediately outside the perimeter of a campus, police may designate all or a portion of the campus as a "crime scene" from which evidence must be sought, gathered and properly stored for further use during an investigation or a legal proceeding. School administrators and staff should not enter a marked or otherwise identified crime scene area or interfere with a police investigation. Likewise, students, parents and community members must not be allowed to enter, interfere with or "contaminate" a crime scene. Persons not authorized to be within an identified crime scene are themselves subject to arrest. 1. Law enforcement personnel will establish a "crime scene" under the following conditions: • Murder or suicide. • Death due to suspicious circumstances. • When the victim of a crime may possibly die. • For serious crimes with or without injuries to students, staff or others (crimes including but not limited to vandalism, burglary, arson). 2. Only authorized law enforcement and fire department personnel are allowed inside a designated crime scene area. 3. The first police officer(s) to arrive on scene will have specific duties to perform to ensure the protection of the crime scene and to make sure that the crime is investigated properly. If officers seem impatient or abrupt toward staff, it is likely due to their attention to these necessary tasks. Despite the sometimes chaotic nature that characterizes many crises, the police must be permitted to do their jobs according to established procedures. 4. A sergeant and/or police officer will serve as the liaison with the school's administration. Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 39. -36- 5. Depending on the size and the nature of the crime scene, the law enforcement officer in charge will determine if and when crisis team members or other support personnel from outside the school can enter the campus to begin their intervention assessments and follow-up activities. It would thus be useful for school site crisis teams to identify in advance one or two adjacent or nearby off-campus locations that could be used on a temporary basis by other crisis team and support personnel to check in and establish contact with school site staff until access to the campus is allowed. 6. School administrators may be asked to provide one or more on-campus locations to isolate witnesses for questioning by law enforcement personnel. Keeping witnesses apart helps to preserve the integrity, clarity and objectivity of each person's account. Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 40. -37- DEATH NOTIFICATION The difficult task of delivering death notifications to next-of-kin is the responsibility of law enforcement personnel, who have been provided with the training and resources necessary to carry out such notifications. If a death has occurred on campus and a member(s) of the victim's family arrives at the school prior to being notified of the death by law enforcement, the family member(s) should be escorted to a private, comfortable setting until law enforcement personnel arrive. If a member of the victim's family calls the school prior to notification by law enforcement, he or she should be asked to come to the school. Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 41. -38- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 42. GENERAL STEPS IN LEGAL REPORTING PROCEDURES I. DUTY TO NOTIFY While it is important to establish a trusting and supportive relationship with students and their parents/guardians in order to provide an environment for effective intervention after a crisis, it is also important for staff to remember that they have a state-mandated legal duty to make a formal report in the following circumstances (effective Jan. 1, 2001, the duty to report was extended to both certificated and classified personnel): CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS (under 18 years of age) A. Abuse: • Child reports directly that he/she has been abused. • Staff member suspects from direct observation of child that child has been abused. • Staff member sees child being abused. • Staff member, from other information received or conclusions drawn, has a suspicion that child has been abused. B. Harm to self: • Child discloses that he/she is thinking of harming himself/herself. • Another party discloses to staff member that child is thinking of harming himself/ herself. (See Suicide Prevention Bulletin Z-36, March 31, 1998.) C. Harm to another: • Child indicates his/her intent to harm someone else and/or has been involved in or witnessed a crime in which a person was harmed. (See Reporting Procedures below.) ADULT STUDENTS A. Someone's life or physical safety is being threatened or an individual indicates intent to harm self or others. B. Staff member has observed or has knowledge of suspected child abuse by an adult. C. Staff member has knowledge of adult student's involvement in criminal activity. -39- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 43. II. REPORTING AND NOTICATION PROCEDURES When any of the above is indicated, a staff person must take immediate action according to the district's reporting procedures. Notification of the school administrator is optional when a report is made directly to a children's protective services agency A. Child Abuse Report to appropriate children's protective services agency B. Suicidal Thoughts/Fantasies • Children/adolescents Inform parent or legal guardian and provide referrals to appropriate community mental health agencies. • Adults Contact a third party to assist in helping the adult obtain mental health services; provide referrals to appropriate community agencies. C. Intent to Harm Another Contact intended victim to provide notification.* D. Intent to Commit a Contact appropriate law enforcement agency. Crime ________________________________________________ * If threat is credible and intended victim is: • Student – school administrator brings student to safe site on campus and notifies parent of threat; school police officer assistance in notification is requested if needed. • Faculty/Staff Member – intended victim is called to administrator's office and is notified of threat; school police officer assistance is requested if needed. • Other (outside the school; i.e., non-student, local business owner, neighbor or nearby property owner, student at another school) – School Police Department assistance is requested; detective will determine course of action, which could include contact with local law enforcement agency for assistance in notification. -40- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 44. DEALING WITH A SUICIDE OR SUICIDE ATTEMPT Regardless of where and when a student makes an attempt or completes the act of suicide, the school family can be greatly affected. You may call for assistance from the Local District Operations Staff, District crisis team, and LAUSD School Police. Expect increased attention from the larger school community during the days and weeks after a suicide or suicide attempt. It may be necessary to collaborate with local law enforcement agencies and other outside professionals. Consult page 10 GENERAL STEPS IN CRISIS INTERVENTION (in this Quick Reference Guide) and contact the LAUSD School Mental Health Coordinator for additional guidance. 1. Assess the impact and follow the crisis protocol outlined in the "General Steps in Crisis Intervention" section of this Guide. 2. Remembrance activities. Avoid school-sponsored memorial assemblies, dedications and plaques in memory of the victim; such activities tend to glorify or romanticize the event or the circumstances of the individual who dies by suicide. Appropriate activities might include donations from students, staff and/or parents to the victim's family, a charity of the family's choice or a non-profit organization in which the victim was involved or had expressed interest. Donations might also be directed toward increased suicide prevention efforts or counseling programs at the school. 3. Avoid references to blame. In answering the "Why?" questions that will likely be posed by students, staff, parents and media, remember to emphasize that no one person and no single incident can be held responsible or targeted for blame after a suicide or a suicide attempt. The cause and the act of suicide are complex – they cannot be simplified, justified or explained by blaming individuals, drugs, music, the school, a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, a poor grade in a class, not making a sports team, etc. 4. If you feel that certain students in your class may need more individual attention, contact a member of your school site crisis team for assistance. For assistance, contact the Local District Operations Coordinator. -41- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 45. WORKING WITH THE NEWS MEDIA WHEN A CRISIS OCCURS Office of Communications (213) 241-6766 News media reporters, photographers and camera crews may come to your campus, as allowed by state law, to gather information for use as "news.” Media persons with legitimate press passes can be on school property with the principal's (or designee's) permission if they have checked in with the school office, stated the purpose of their visit and agree to comply with reasonable "ground rules" set for them by the school. School or law enforcement authorities can establish different ground rules in the aftermath of a crisis than might be in place for a reporter's visit on a more routine story. The media can be a quick and effective tool for providing post-crisis, emergency information to parents and the community. ADVANCE PREPARATION • Designate the most appropriate spokesperson for the school (principal and/or his designee). • Identify a room or an area on campus (and one or two alternate locations) as a place where news media can be briefed. Anticipate a large media presence after a serious incident and pre-select your briefing area(s) accordingly. WHEN A CRISIS OCCURS • After requesting appropriate assistance from 911, the School Police Department or the Local District office, contact the Office of Communications, (213) 241-6766, as soon as possible. Provide enough information to enable that office to be in contact with the media and thus lessen the communications burden on the school. A communications officer may be assigned to your school to assist with media relations activities. • Write a brief fact sheet that can be used by persons answering the phone in the school office when parents or news media call in the hours immediately following an incident. The fact sheet can serve to confirm known facts (i.e., "Yes, we did have an explosion in one of our science labs. Two students were injured and have been taken to the hospital."), and use follow-up phrases such as: "We're still checking the facts to find out exactly what happened.... The police are still investigating.... Children are now back in their classes with their teachers.... Everyone followed the evacuation plan that we have practiced.... School will be dismissed today at _____ instead of the usual time.... Parents with proper I.D. can pick their children up at the Reunion Gate on the ____ side of the campus starting at 1 p.m..... We will send a letter home to all parents....," etc. -42- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 46. • Media should be referred to the designated media liaison or the Office of Communications. • Before group media briefings or an interview with just one or two reporters, jot down some basic chronological notes about the incident to use as your statement of what happened. Make your statement before taking questions. Refer to your notes, if necessary, when speaking to reporters or answering questions. Avoid implications of "blame" or "responsibility" for an incident before the matter has been fully investigated. Keep in mind what information about students or staff can be provided to media and what, by law, must remain confidential. POST CRISIS • Students and parents should be asked to refer media questions to the principal. • If a reporter wants to interview students on campus, the administrator (or media liaison) should select student. • The liaison or another staff person should be present and should halt the interview if questions to students become inappropriate. • On-campus interviews with elementary level students after a traumatic incident are not recommended (a parent who is on campus that day may be willing to permit an interview). • Students waiting to give witness statements to police or school staff should not be permitted to speak with reporters first. • Media cannot enter classrooms to speak with students without specific permission from the principal. Any interviews with or statements given by faculty members should be voluntary and not conducted during class time. • Keep the Office of Communications staff (or the communications officer assigned to your school that day) informed of new developments. -43- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 47. LANGUAGE NEEDS / CULTURAL AWARENESS When dealing with students and parents from other cultures after a school or community crisis or disaster, it is very important to be sensitive to language and cultural needs. Strong feelings or emotions are often expressed most effectively through the child or adult’s primary language. Bilingual/bicultural personnel have a key role in providing intervention and postvention services. If staff persons with the needed language skills are not available at your school, contact the Local District Office for assistance. It is equally essential that school and support staffs are knowledgeable about and sensitive to the values and beliefs of other cultures in order to assist in an appropriate manner. In addition, school-site crisis team members and Local District crisis team members should be aware of bilingual community resource agencies to which families may be referred for further assistance. -44- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 48. HELPING CHILDREN UNDERSTAND THE TERRORIST ATTACKS The terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. requires new thinking about how our schools will respond to new threats. Over 1.2 million students in New York City were eyewitnesses to the attacks and collapse of the Twin Towers. 8 schools were in or near “Ground Zero” forcing 9,000 students and staff to evacuate under the most trying and dangerous circumstances. The “War on Terrorism” declared by President Bush after September 11, 2001 causes us to revise our Safe Schools Plans, reviewing lockdown, evacuation and student/parent reunion procedures. All Americans have been impacted by the events of 9/11 in a variety of ways. The Pew Foundation conducted a nation wide survey during the two weeks following the attacks and found that 72% of their respondents reported feeling depressed by the events of that day. Senator Kennedy in a Senate Hearing conducted on September 26, 2001 called for parents, teachers and other caretakers of children to be alert to the need for additional support and possible mental health care for children and adults who had been traumatized. Several websites are presently available to help schools and school staffs, providing resources for further help and guidance. The following online resources are just a few among the best of those websites: American Red Cross; publications tab, Community Disaster Education materials “Terrorism: Preparing for the Unexpected” “Helping Young Children Cope with Trauma” Facing Fear curriculum www.redcross.org Center for Mental Health Services in the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration www.mentalhealth.org/cmhs/ Department of Health and Human Services; diseases & conditions, disasters & emergencies www.hhs.gov Federal Emergency Management Agency; library section for preparation & prevention, disasters & emergencies, response & recovery “Helping Children Cope with Disaster” “How the Public Can Help After A Disaster” www.fema.gov -45- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 49. Homeland Security; educating the public on citizen preparedness in case of a national emergency www.ready.gov National Child Traumatic Stress Network www.nctsnet.org American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry “Helping Families and Children Cope with this National Tragedy” “Helping Children After a Disaster” www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/disaster.htm U.S. Department of Education; do “terrorism” search, teachers “Helping Children Understand the Terrorist Attacks” www.ed.gob -46- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 50. LAUSD RESOURCE LIST – 2004-2005 This list includes selected offices that can be helpful before, during and after a crisis. It is not intended as a list of all possible District resources. When calling, briefly describe the situation and ask to speak with someone who can assist you. If no one is available to help at that moment, give the person taking your call a sense of the urgency of the matter, and leave your name and one or more call-back numbers (office, cell phone, pager). Remember that your first call in a life-threatening emergency should be to 911. To reach specific personnel, refer to the Local Districts section of the most current Guide to Schools and Offices. Resource/Office Telephone Access (Psychiatric Mobile Response Team) (800) 854-7771 Child Abuse Hotline (800) 540-4000 Communications / Assistance with News Media (213) 241-6766 Crisis Counseling and Intervention Services (district wide) (213) 241-2174 For Crisis and Threat Management Training or (213) 742-8286 Emergency Services (213) 241-3199 Employee Assistance Program (866) 312-3077 Helpline for Teens (6:00 pm – 10 pm) (800) TLC-TEEN INFO Line (24 hour hotline) (800) 339-6993 Local District Operations Coordinator(s) Check Local District Directory Mental Health Services (district wide) (213) 241-3841 97th Street Clinic (323)754-2856 Bell/Cudahy Clinic (323) 869-1352 Carson Family Center (310) 513-8070 Hyde Park (323) 750-5167 San Fernando Valley (818) 997-2640 San Pedro Clinic (310) 832-7545 Early Behavior Intervention Program (213) 241-3858 Suicide Prevention Unit (818) 705-7326 -47- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 51. Nursing Services (district wide) (213) 763-8374 District 1: Zelzah Site (818) 997-2633 District 2 (818) 755-5357 District 3: La Brea Site (323) 421-2960 District 4: 17th St. Annex #B (213) 763-8355 District 5: Soto St. Annex (323) 224-3370 District 6: Hughes Satellite (323) 560-4293 District 7: Central West, La Brea Site (323) 421-2931 District 8: Gardena (310) 354-3550 Psychological Services (district wide) (213) 241-8303 Central/West (323) 421-2825 East (323) 932-2127 North (818) 997-2398 South (310) 354-3456 Pupil Services & Attendance (district wide) (213) 241-3844 Coordinators in each local district School Police Department Chief (213) 742-8219 Watch Commander (24 hours) (213) 625-6631 Satellite Offices Valley (818) 893-6423 Harbor(no voicemail) (323) 569-6314 Westside (310) 575-3202 Translation Unit (language assistance) (213) 241-5840 Youth Relations (213) 745-1990 -48- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 52. DISTRICT GUIDELINES FOR REFERRALS OUTSIDE THE LAUSD Before making a specific referral, it should be determined if the family is covered by a health insurance plan. If so, parents can be directed to that plan's facility or providers (Kaiser-Permanente, Blue Cross, HMO, etc.) for appropriate services. For students or parents without insurance coverage, LAUSD personnel should provide a list of three community agencies that accept Medi-Cal payment and/or use a sliding scale of fees based on family income. These organizations are referred to as “public, non- profit or non-proprietary" agencies (see page 51 for District form). -49- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 53. SAMPLE LETTERS AND MEMOS Clear and appropriate communication with faculty, staff, students and parents during and after a crisis will provide factual information to those who need it. This applies whether the crisis involves only one student, several students, or becomes a matter of concern to the entire school community. Good communication can also help to calm and counterbalance the rumors, second-hand gossip and misinformation that almost inevitably seem to follow such events. This section provides samples adapted from letters and memos that schools have written, used and found to be effective. Because no two situations are alike, we encourage you to tailor the content to fit the circumstances of the specific crisis at your school. As the need arises, administrators may want to collaborate with the Local District superintendent or operations staff in the drafting of letters to parents or memos to staff. (NOTE: crisis situations change rapidly, so it is useful to put not only the date but also the time on any school memos written for faculty and staff.) Sample 1 Letter to Parents Referral to Community Health and Human Resources Agencies and Services Sample 2 Letter to Parents Suicide Follow-up (secondary) Sample 3 Memo to Faculty Serious Injury to Staff Member Sample 4 Memo to Faculty and Staff Accidental Student Fatality Sample 5 Memo to Faculty and Staff Death of Staff Member (possible medical condition) -50- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 54. SAMPLE 1: Letter to Parents Post-Crisis Referral to Community Health and Human Resources Agencies and Services (school letterhead) (date) Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s): If you feel you need additional services for your child and/or your family in the aftermath of the recent event(s) involving our school, we are providing the names of the agencies listed below to assist you in locating appropriate low-cost health and human resources in your neighborhood. Our school and the Los Angeles Unified School District do not assume responsibility for counseling, medical or other services provided by these agencies nor for any fees that may be charged to you. Please note that the agencies listed here accept either Medi-Cal or other health insurance plans and/or may charge a sliding scale fee. AGENCY ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER 1. _______________________________________________________________________ _ 2. _______________________________________________________________________ _ 3. _______________________________________________________________________ _ If you have any questions, please call (name and title) at our school, (phone) . Sincerely, Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 55. -51- (name and title) SAMPLE 2: Letter to Parents – Suicide Follow-up (secondary) (school letterhead) (date) Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s): We have been informed that an 11th-grade student enrolled in our school apparently took his own life on Sunday, (date)_____________ . The circumstances are still under investigation by law enforcement personnel at this time. After an incident of this kind, young people may need more support and attention than usual from their parents and other adults. Counselors are on campus to help students, faculty and parents deal with this tragic incident. For your information, we are providing with this letter a list of "distress signals" (see attached page). These are clues that are sometimes obvious and sometimes not easily observable by family members, teachers or friends, through whom youngsters may reveal their reaction to the physical, mental and emotional stress they are feeling after the death of someone they know. These feelings are normal after a traumatic incident, and you might want to remind your children, in an appropriate way, that special counselors are available at school to help them. If you are concerned that your child has been particularly affected by the loss of his/her classmate in this manner, please feel free to contact our school at (phone) _________________ . Our school crisis team and other trained counselors are available to answer your questions and to provide assistance. Sincerely, (name) (title) Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 56. See next page --to be included with the letter -52- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 57. (Send with letter on previous page or for other traumatic circumstances) PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL CHANGES (Post-Traumatic "Distress Signals") Individuals – children, teens and adults – may experience and exhibit a wide range of post-traumatic stress disorder reactions after a crisis or disaster. Administrators, faculty members, school staff and parents should be aware that these changes are not unusual for anyone who has gone through or been affected by a crisis or traumatic event. Your child may benefit from additional counseling and support if symptoms persist after three months or if the symptoms are delayed and appear three to six months after the crisis event. Examples of some reactions are listed here: Physical Changes • Easily startled • Change in eating patterns • Increase anxiety • Heart rate increases • Sleep patterns interrupted Mental Changes • Difficulty with memory • Slower learning speed • Decreased computational skills • Impaired decision-making skills • Decreased ability to analyze • Decreased self-awareness Emotional Changes • Feelings of isolation • Bitterness • Developmental regression • Decreased intimacy • Depression • Lack of trust • Denial • Guilt • Anger • Fear of recurrence • Lack of enthusiasm for activities that were previously enjoyed • Return to past hurts and trauma -53- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 58. SAMPLE 3: Memo to Faculty – Serious Injury to Staff Member (school memo format – not to be sent to parents or given to students or news media in this form) Date/Time: To: All Faculty From: (Principal or Crisis Team Leader) Subj: INJURY TO STAFF MEMBER One of our teachers, (name)____________________ , was injured this morning in a physical altercation with a disturbed individual that occurred just outside the faculty parking lot at approximately (time)_______. Paramedics were called and arrived in less than five minutes. I am glad to be able to report that (name)________ was conscious and talking with police and paramedics. He was treated and taken to (hospital)__ _______________. We will let you know more about his condition as we receive further information from the hospital. The circumstances of the accident are under investigation by LAUSD police and local law enforcement. Although no students were injured or directly involved in the incident, some of them may be upset by having witnessed this confrontation. We ask that you keep your students in their current classrooms until further notice. We will update you as soon as possible as to any schedule changes for the rest of the day. Counseling support services will be made available later today to any staff members or students who may be in need of such assistance. It is likely that I will schedule a brief mandatory staff meeting after school today. I will let you know as quickly as possible with a follow-up memo. Your cooperation and understanding at this difficult time is much appreciated. This incident serves as a reminder to all of us about the importance of being vigilant and alert to the presence of strangers or persons acting strangely near our campus. -54- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 59. SAMPLE 4: Memo to Faculty and Staff – Accidental Student Fatality (school memo format – not to be sent to parents or given to students or news media in this form) Date/Time: To: All Faculty and Staff From: (Principal) Subj: STUDENT FATALITY On (day and date)__________ at about (time)_______, one of our students was hit by a vehicle at the intersection of (street names)________and ___________. Apparently a car ran a red light and hit the student, who was in the crosswalk at the time. Our school nurse learned from the hospital that the student died at approximately (time and day)________. While the matter is still under investigation, it is my understanding at this time that the driver did not initially stop after the accident, but returned 30 minutes later and turned himself in to police. Since the accident happened close to school, a number of young people, including one busload of students leaving our campus after school, witnessed the incident. We will all need to be particularly sensitive and compassionate today and in the days to come as more students at our school learn about and react to the death of their classmate. Our school crisis team has been activated, and I have also arranged for additional crisis counselors to be here starting (date)____ ___________ and continuing as needed. This morning, I will meet the students on route #______ when the bus arrives and escort them to the library, which will serve as our crisis center. Crisis intervention counselors will also go to (student's name)___________ classroom to assist the teacher as she informs them of the accident and the tragic result. This will help us to determine what services we may need to provide. Additional counselors will be sent out to classrooms and made available to individual students and/or staff as needed. Enclosed are some special passes to be used to send students to the library if you should need to do so during class time. Information regarding funeral arrangements will be provided when it is available. -55- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 60. SAMPLE 5: Memo to Faculty – Death of Staff Member (possible medical condition) (school memo format – not to be sent to parents or given to students or news media in this form) Date/Time: To: All Faculty and Staff From: (Principal) Subject: DEATH OF (name)_______________ This is one of the most difficult memos I've had to write in all my years as an administrator. Yesterday afternoon at approximately (time)_______, (name)______________ collapsed in the (location on campus)__________________. Paramedics were called immediately by (name)__ _________ and CPR was administered by (name)______________, assisted by our school nurse. The paramedic ambulance from our local fire station was here in about four minutes from the time of our 911 call. (name)_________ was rushed to (hospital)________, where she was placed in the Intensive Care Unit. We have been informed that she died late yesterday evening at about (time)__. As of this morning, the specific cause of death had not yet been determined. You might appreciate knowing that (name)_______________ accompanied (name)__________ to the hospital in the ambulance with the permission of the paramedics and remained there until members of her family arrived. I will, of course, be in contact with the family today or tomorrow to express our school's condolences and to obtain information concerning funeral arrangements and memorial services. It is very difficult for all of us to lose a friend, colleague and teacher who has been at this school for more than _______ years. Our school crisis team is available to faculty and staff in the (location)___________ and to students in the (location)_________. Please send any students needing counseling with a pass, if they request assistance during class time. If you would like to speak with someone about appropriate ways to discuss this situation in class with your students, members of the crisis team are available to assist you. Contact the main office and help will be sent immediately. My gratitude goes to all staff members who tried to be helpful in this situation. Your courage and assistance are sincerely appreciated not only by your colleagues, and me but I'm certain by (name)____ _____'s family, as well. We are very fortunate to have you as members of the (school name)___ team and to know that we can count on you. There will be a brief mandatory faculty meeting after school today in the (location)________. NOTES Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 61. -57- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services
  • 62. NOTES -58- Office of the Chief Operating Officer Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services

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