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Crisis management: 
Handling prescription drug 
incidents in schools 
Phase 2
Crisis management phases 
Crisis management is a six-phase process: 
Phase 1: Prepare before a prescription drug incident ...
Phase 2: Take immediate action 
when a prescription drug incident occurs 
In Phase 2, take steps to ensure the safety of s...
Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and 
intervene at the scene of the incident 
Actions for staff members who witness t...
Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and 
intervene at the scene of the incident 
Actions for staff members who witness t...
Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and 
intervene at the scene of the incident 
Actions for staff members who witness t...
Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and 
intervene at the scene of the incident 
Actions for the security guard or resou...
Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and 
intervene at the scene of the incident 
Actions for the school principal 
When ...
Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and 
intervene at the scene of the incident 
Actions for the school principal 
• Esc...
Action step 2.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting 
Hold a meeting with the crisis response team and staff member(s) who...
Action step 2.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting 
• Based on this information, the principal should call law enforceme...
Action step 2.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting 
• The principal should share findings from his or her interview(s) w...
Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement 
Police involvement is necessary when the prescription drug incide...
Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement 
When police arrive at the school 
The principal should: 
• Meet p...
Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement 
After police leave the school 
The principal should: 
• Document ...
Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement 
After police leave the school 
Having a record of how law enforce...
Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement 
Tips for working with local law enforcement 
DO 
• Keep communica...
Go to Phase 3 to learn about the action steps you should complete to ensure 
clear communication with school community mem...
19 
This project has been funded with federal funds from the National Institute on Drug 
Abuse, National Institutes of Hea...
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SecuRx crisis management plan phase 2

This phase outlines the steps to ensure the safety of students and staff during a prescription drug incident.

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SecuRx crisis management plan phase 2

  1. 1. Crisis management: Handling prescription drug incidents in schools Phase 2
  2. 2. Crisis management phases Crisis management is a six-phase process: Phase 1: Prepare before a prescription drug incident occurs in your school. Phase 2: Take immediate action when a prescription drug incident occurs. Phase 3: Communicate with school community members after a prescription drug incident. Phase 4: Follow up after a prescription drug incident. Phase 5: Implement disciplinary actions for student(s) involved in a prescription drug incident. Phase 6: Support and monitor student(s) involved in a prescription drug incident. The following presentation describes the action steps you should complete in Phase 2. If you would like to review a different phase, please click on the appropriate link above.
  3. 3. Phase 2: Take immediate action when a prescription drug incident occurs In Phase 2, take steps to ensure the safety of students and staff during a prescription drug incident. There are three action steps you should complete: Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and intervene at the scene of the incident. Action step 2.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting. Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement.
  4. 4. Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and intervene at the scene of the incident Actions for staff members who witness the incident At the scene of the incident, the staff member who witnessed the incident should: • Call the nearest teacher to the scene to assist with incident management. • Through observation, attempt to establish basic facts such as what type of drug, how much, when and how it was taken, and who was involved. – Learning the basic facts of the drug incident will help staff decide if medical assistance is warranted. • Summon or provide emergency care, if necessary. –Parents should sign a consent form at the beginning of the year addressing what emergency care may be given to their child in the event of an emergency. –When in doubt, staff should call 9-1-1.
  5. 5. Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and intervene at the scene of the incident Actions for staff members who witness the incident • Identify student(s) involved in the prescription drug incident. Students involved may include: –Any student who is in possession of a prescription drug. –Any student who appears to be under the influence of a prescription drug without the proper authorization form associated with an medication management plan (MMP) – see the SecuRx website or complete the Creating a comprehensive diversion-prevention program in your school: Professional development course for administrators to learn about symptoms of prescription drug abuse. –Any student who may have given prescription drugs to another student. –Any student who may have received prescription drugs from another student. –Any student who is part of an interaction where a drug exchange occurred.
  6. 6. Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and intervene at the scene of the incident Actions for staff members who witness the incident • Send students not involved in the incident to their classrooms to reduce opportunity for rumors and misinformation, and to protect the privacy of the student(s) involved. • Call the school security guard or school resource officer to assist in escorting student(s) involved in the incident to the main office.
  7. 7. Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and intervene at the scene of the incident Actions for the security guard or resource officer* When the school security guard or school resource officer arrives on the scene of a prescription drug incident, he or she should: • Ask staff managing the incident for details about the incident. • Ensure that emergency medical measures have been taken, if needed. • Confiscate drugs (see Phase 1, Action step 1.2 – Staff training for confiscating drugs). • Ask staff members managing the incident to return to their classroom or office. *The school resource officer is typically part of the local law enforcement. Therefore, he or she will may have specific procedures to follow from the police department. If your school does not have a school security guard or school resource officer, the guidance counselor can take over these responsibilities.
  8. 8. Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and intervene at the scene of the incident Actions for the school principal When student(s) and school security guard or school resource officer arrive at the main office, the principal should: • Call staff member(s) who witnessed the incident to the main office. – If staff member is a teacher, appoint another staff member not involved in the incident to cover the teacher’s classroom. • If multiple students were involved in the incident, separate students in different rooms so they cannot develop a false story. –Request support from staff members who are not on the crisis response team to monitor student(s). • Speak to student(s) involved to get their account of the incident. –You may wish to speak with the student(s) in the company of a teacher who knows the student(s) personally. Doing so may facilitate discussing the incident with the student. In addition, a teacher who knows the student well may be able to tell if the student is being truthful about the incident.
  9. 9. Action step 2.1: Assess the situation and intervene at the scene of the incident Actions for the school principal • Escort students involved in the incident to main office. – Do not speak to student(s). If escorting more than one student, do not allow students to talk to each other while going to the main office. –Contact principal to say who is en route to main office. • At the main office, school security guard or resource officer should wait with student(s) for principal. • After completing the student interview(s), the principal should call together remaining members of the crisis response team through cell phones or two-way radios. Contact the school district’s office to determine any specific district regulations or procedures related to managing prescription drug incidents in school.
  10. 10. Action step 2.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting Hold a meeting with the crisis response team and staff member(s) who witnessed the incident. Keep the meeting brief so you can promptly implement disciplinary actions, which may include school suspension for student(s) involved in the incident. During the meeting: • Staff member(s) who witnessed the incident should explain to other team members basic facts of the incident, including: –Who was involved. – What alerted staff member’s attention. –How involved students behaved. –What drug appeared to be involved including the amount, the form of the drug, and the method of administration. • Team member with drug or medical expertise should explain the implications of the drug, including its potential for abuse and associated health risks.
  11. 11. Action step 2.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting • Based on this information, the principal should call law enforcement, if warranted. – In general, you should call law enforcement if the incident involves possession or diversion of a controlled substance. –Refer to the guidelines provided by local law enforcement during your meeting in Phase 1. • The school nurse or appropriate personnel should verify whether the student(s) involved in the incidents has an MMP that authorizes use of that particular prescription drug in school. • A teacher who has a personal connection with student(s) involved in the incident should give background on prior behavior, academic record, and other relevant information of student(s).
  12. 12. Action step 2.2: Hold a crisis response team meeting • The principal should share findings from his or her interview(s) with the student(s) involved in the incident. • Based on the evidence, team members should discuss the severity of the incident and decide on immediate disciplinary actions. • Implement immediate disciplinary actions.
  13. 13. Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement Police involvement is necessary when the prescription drug incident involves a controlled substance. You should refer to your notes from your meeting with law enforcement in Phase 1 to determine other circumstances that warrant police involvement. Police officers will likely conduct a criminal investigation. A criminal investigation does not prevent the principal from implementing disciplinary actions at the school level. If your school has a school resource officer rather than a school security guard, the school resource officer is typically part of local law enforcement. Therefore, he or she will be responsible for notifying the local police department if assistance is needed.
  14. 14. Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement When police arrive at the school The principal should: • Meet police officers at school entrance. • Provide basic facts about the incident, including: –Who was involved. – What alerted staff member’s attention. –How involved students behaved. –What drug appeared to be involved including the amount, the form of the drug, and the method of administration. • Give confiscated drugs to police officers. • If your school policies permit it, allow police officers to speak to student(s) involved in the incident upon police officers’ request. • Discuss next steps and how the school can support police efforts. • Discuss what you may tell parents about the incident and the potential legal consequences their child could face.
  15. 15. Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement After police leave the school The principal should: • Document how police officers managed the incident so you can refer back to your notes if prescription drug incidents occur in the future. Include the following information: –Whether the student was arrested. –Whether police conducted a criminal investigation. –Whom the police interviewed. –Whether police confiscated the drug.
  16. 16. Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement After police leave the school Having a record of how law enforcement responds to different incidents creates a reference database with information to determine when to call police and what to tell parents regarding the next steps in a criminal investigation or potential legal consequences their child may face. School principals and other staff members must not investigate beyond gaining the basic facts about a prescription drug incident, unless advised to do so by the police.
  17. 17. Action step 2.3: Collaborate with local law enforcement Tips for working with local law enforcement DO • Keep communication open and clear. • Review the facts of the situation; report only what you saw, not what you suppose. •Work collaboratively to problem solve. DO NOT • Challenge local law enforcement officials’ authority. • Hide important information. • Send the student home before notifying law enforcement officials in case they want to speak with him or her.
  18. 18. Go to Phase 3 to learn about the action steps you should complete to ensure clear communication with school community members, including parents, staff, and students, and manage the information presented by the media to the community after a prescription drug incident. 18
  19. 19. 19 This project has been funded with federal funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN271201200032C.

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This phase outlines the steps to ensure the safety of students and staff during a prescription drug incident.

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