Crisis Management & Disaster Plan
DISTRICT CALLING TREE (you must be logged in to Arp ISD via Google or Chrome)
Introduction to the District Crisis Plan
Seldom is an organization prepared for sudden, potentially destructive events. Schools have always been vulnerable to disaster because large numbers of people are collected in relatively small spaces. As a result natural disasters, accidents, and intentional intrusions that involve schools can have devastating effects on student, staff, parents, and the community as a whole. Schools can be the objects of vicious attacks by armed persons or caught up with the spillover effects of turbulent community unrest.
The vulnerability of schools may be found in their essential openness. That openness is a condition of life in a democratic and open public school system that reflects the society in which it serve~. It is necessary, however, to have contingency plans available to enact quick, effective responses to minimize the disastrous effects that certain types of calamities can bring.
It is important that all school and district staff know their responsibilities during a school emergency. It is, therefore, necessary to provide training to all staff members.
Principals will provide training to all school staff, including all instructional, custodial, and food service employees. The training should be based on the school emergency/safety plans. The best time for training is at the beginning of each school year. Each campus plan should be designed to meet the needs of that individual campus as to procedures. These procedures ought to provide for an annual review and approval of the plan by the Campus Site-Based Decision Making Committee.
District training will include an annual review of the district plan and an annual training session to include the principals and all district office staff. That training should occur during the summer or during in-service days prior to the beginning of school each year.
ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Superintendent & Director of Support Services Work:
Shannon Arrington (903) 859-8482 Cell: (903) 360-3692
Arp ISD Chief of Police - 911 or (903) 859-4936
Communications Coordinator: Mike Alzamora (903) 859-8482
High School Principal: Mike Miller (903) 859-4917
Jr. High Principal: Jason Shieldes (903) 859-4936
Elementary Principal: Stephanie Schminkey (903) 859-4650
Secondary Asst. Principal: Amy Herrell (903) 859-4917
Jr. High Counselor: Lara Parker (903) 859-4936
District Health Coordinator: Shelby Brown (903) 859-4936
Transportation Supervisor: Randal Wilson (903) 859-8482
Network Administrator: Laramie Allen (903) 859-8482
Managing a Crisis on Campus (for campus employees)
A crisis in which schools would be mobilized is defined as:
1) Incident involving violent school intruder behavior posing immediate and active danger to students, and school personnel.
2) Traumatic death of a student, teacher, or other person known by number of students.
3) A suicide attempt or serious threat of suicide or on-campus death.
4) A school bus accident or an explosion (gas line, well, train car).
5) An accident involving violent student behavior.
6) Fire of a school building.
7) Natural disaster (tornado, winter storm, flood),
8) Train derailment and possible hazardous cargo.
Each situation that occurs is unique; therefore, the judgment of those involved will determine the most appropriate steps. However, the following steps should be considered:
I. The information is to be verified with the police or other responsible parties before it is communicated further. The principal or designee will contact the parents of the victim to obtain factual information and offer support from the school/staff.
II. Notification Procedures For District Emergencies
A. The superintendent is to be notified first so that contacts with the media can be anticipated and preparations can be made to use social media if necessary.
B. The superintendent is to notify the Principal, and Communication Coordinator, then assist school personnel in the initial stages of the plan.
C. The Principal is to notify counselors and staff that may be prepared to assist those who call concerning the incident and so that they may be able to assist in whatever way they are needed.
D. Following a suicide or other traumatic death, students, and adults most closely associated with the deceased are notified by school counselors or other sensitive staff members. Adults to contact include, for example, parents of the student's friends, parents of team members, and teachers.
III. Notification Procedures for Campus Emergencies.
A. Activate IAN (Instant Alert Network) via mobile app, then immediately notify the campus principal or the principal's designee.
B. Campus principal or designee will call or designate someone to call:
Call 911 (if applicable).
Notify the district counselor and/or district health coordinator.
Notify faculty, communications coordinator.
Notify other district personnel - initiate the phone tree
IV. Mobilizing the School Staff:
A. Central Administration staff will meet/communicate with the campus administrative staff to implement the specifics of the school plan, how others will be informed, any changes in the daily school routine, and availability of support personnel.
B. Community support persons are notified to assist when needed.
A. Understand you are dealing with overwhelming emotional response to a situation (i.e. suicide or death of student).
For many students/faculty this could precipitate a personal crisis or be a trigger about previous experiences.
For everyone, immediate response and support is essential.
For many students this may be their first death experience.
B. Provide information about community support to parents and inform them of specific agencies to which they can turn for help.
C. To the extent possible, a regular school routine is to be followed
D. Care must be taken not to glamorize a suicide.
E. All media communication will be channeled through the Communications Coordinator's office (not individuals).
Superintendent & Communications Coordinator's Role:
Be factual about communications.
Work with the media concerning the appropriateness of certain stories.
Emphasize positive steps taken. Reassure parents & community of positive steps taken.
Discourage a write-up disclosing the details of the death.
Incident Command System - Crisis Management Team Organizational Chart for Arp ISD Communication
Crisis Management Team Member Roles
Coordinates with campus administrator to implement crisis plan.
Appraises the situation by a direct visit to campus.
Informs and updates Communications Coordinator
a) Coordinates information from the people directly involved.
b) Spokesperson for the district
c) Contacts board members
Coordinates services needed for vehicle accidents.
Appraises situations concerning building or vehicle accidents by a direct visit to scene.
Work directly with superintendent on all information regarding the incident or situation.
Maintain all internal school personnel updated as the crisis situation evolves.
Maintain school community and student families updated on situation, safety of their children, timeframe and location of student pick up if necessary.
Inform news partners and keep them updated with confirmed facts of incident or situation.
Request assistance from news partners in case of runaway, violent suspect search, toxic/dangerous substance transport, etc.
Step in as district spokesperson if superintendent is unavailable.
Determines if the situation warrants implementation of the crisis plan.
Initiates contact of key personnel.
Serves as the campus crisis coordinator and building spokesperson.
Assign designee to man the phone lines.
Coordinates with campus administrator and health coordinator.
Assists in bringing in additional mental health personnel as needed.
Consults with crisis team as appropriate.
Extends service to the crisis team as appropriate.
Monitors mental health needs of personnel and students.
Enacts intervention procedures.
Triage at-risk students.
Contacts key community support personnel.
Maintains record of student contacts.
May be asked to contact individual parents of students involved.
Works with School Nurse to assist with post-crisis responses and to provide information about mental health services for both students and staff.
Give emergency medical instructions.
Assists in medical triage.
Coordinates with outside medical services.
Identifies students medically at-risk.
Coordinates with campus administrators and counselor.
Communicates information with health care provider regarding patient status.
Works with counselors to assist with post-crisis responses and to provide information about mental health services for both students and staff.
Director of Curriculum
Formulates and updates Crisis Management Plan components as required (calling trees).
Assist campus administrators with staff training.
Determines if network or technology is involved in crisis or endangering safety of district personnel or students.
Maintains communication systems active (VoIP, FAX, Email, Texting, Twitter, SchoolWay, Facebook, Remind 101, electronic signage, 911 calls on redundant B-1 lines, channel 1 Radios)
Contacts appropriate utility & service providers if and when necessary
Maintains fault-tolerant backups of all digital resources for crisis recovery to be minimal.
Assist campus administrators with staff training for proper use, care, and maintenance of district technologies especially during crisis management operations.
Maintains current floor plans for emergency services.
Maintains security services (card access, cameras, video backups, alarms, motion detectors, temperature detectors, etc.)
Teachers and Support Staff
Follow directives of Crisis Management Team.
Listen and hear student's concerns. Don't be judgmental or moralizing.
Keep school day as near to normal as possible.
Keep students calm and model emotional stability.
Follow directives of campus administrators and teachers.
Initiate identification of at-risk students for counselor.
View and be vigilant of direct communication from school district
Follow directions & ONLY take action from direct communication from school district (text, email, app notification).
Listen/view local news media for updates on information.
Don't tie up phone lines (VITAL).
Accept school and community support services when needed.
Follow directives of Crisis Management Team.
Ensure safety and security of building.
Coordinate community services as they arrive on campus
Maintain record of all contacts/arrivals.
Preventing future emergencies or minimizing their effects:
--Includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Mitigation activities take place before and after emergencies.
--Examples: Practice Drills, intrusion detection, security systems, Visitor Policies, Employee Handgun Policy (updated 10/27/21)
Preparing to handle an emergency before it occurs
--Examples: evacuation plans, multi-first-responder coordinated Shattered Dreams Scenarios (5/15/15)
Responding safely to an emergency
--Examples: seeking shelter from tornado (11/30/16) or turning off gas valves (11/16/16)
Recovering from an emergency with as little damage or any loss of life.
--Examples: recovering from Hurricanes (Aug 2005), gas leak (11/16/16), Intruder Alert (01/10/17)
Accidents to and from School
DEFINITION: Transportation accidents involving students or employees in private vehicles to and from school to their homes or school activities.
ACTION: The following procedures are recommended for private vehicle accidents occurring to and from school.
1. Call 911: give name, location, and reason for calling.
2. Request police assistance or medication if necessary.
3. Notify the school administration about the accident who will, in turn, notify appropriate personnel
4. Notify parents, spouse, closest relative.
5. Send a designated employee to evaluate the situation and report back to the campus administrator.
6. Begin campus counseling procedures immediately, if appropriate.
Accidents at School
Definition: Even with effective prevention efforts, accidents may occur involving students or employees. Accidents may be non-life-threatening or major threats to an individual's life. (Reference: FFAC-Student Welfare and medical treatment)
Actions: The following procedure is recommended for accidents occurring at school.
1. For minor accidents or injuries, take the student to the school nurse for assistance. Follow first aid procedures as indicated by nature of accident or injury.
2. Contact parent or guardian, if injury warrants.
3. Fill out an accident form as a follow-up.
1. For major accidents or injuries, the campus administrator or designee will call 911: give name, location, and reason for calling.
Request police assistance or medical assistance and contact the school nurse
Contact parent or guardian.
Contact Superintendent in the event of a major injury.
Get statements from witnesses as soon as possible.
Fill out an accident form as a follow-up.
Accidents Involving School Vehicles
Definition: Accidents involving the transportation of students and employees in school vehicles to and from their homes, curricular, and extra-curricular events. These accidents may involve individual or multiple vehicles. (Reference: FFAC Medical Treatment, CKA) Accident Prevention and Reports, and CNA - Student Transportation)
Action: In the event of a school vehicle accident, observe the following procedures:
1. Call 911: give name, location, and reason for calling. Request police assistance. Be firm and do not panic. Do not leave students by themselves. If necessary, stop a passing motorist to aid in making a phone call to emergency resources.
2. Notify school administration.
3. Render assistance to anyone hurt or in trouble. Always, your first concern is for the riders.
4. Do not worry about scrapes and scratches. However, render immediate first aid if necessary.
5. Obtain witnesses: names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
6. Do not move vehicle until instructed by police or transportation director unless occupants are in peril.
7. All calls requesting information about the accident should be directed to the Superintendent or designee.
8. File a written report providing information of witnesses, injuries, time and place of accident with the superintendent.
9. Begin campus counseling procedures immediately, if appropriate
Alcohol/Drugs Suspicion, Possession, or Influence
Definition: The possession or under the influence of alcohol/drugs on the school grounds, in the school buildings, or at school sponsored events constitutes a Class C misdemeanor. (Reference: DH,DI,FNCF,FO FOD,GKA, Student Handbook, and the district's Behavior Management Plan.
Possession Action: If there is reason to believe a student is in possession of alcohol/drugs, the following procedures should be followed:
1. The student should be escorted to the office.
2. Two adults should be present (one should be the campus administrator,)
3. The student should be informed of suspicions and asked to deliver the substance.
4. If the student refuses, it may be necessary to search lockers or to ask the student to show contents of pockets, bags, etc.
5. If a controlled substance is found, call proper authorities,
6, Contact the student's parent/guardian or neatest relative.
7. Discipline should be administered according to the District's Behavior Management Plan.
Under the Influence
Action: If there is reason to believe a student is under the influence of alcohol/drugs, the following procedures should be followed:
1. The student should be escorted to the office.
2. The police are called only if the student is violent or is in danger to self or others.
3. Contact the student's parent/guardian or nearest relative.
4. The student should be monitored until the parent arrives to pick him/her up,
5. Discipline should be administered according to the District's Behavior Management Plan.
6. Suggest parents and students seek medical treatment as a follow-up precaution.
Definition: A reaction caused by contact, inhalation, or ingestion of a substance causing a threat to an individual's life.
Action: In the event of an allergic reaction occurring with a student or employee:
1. Call 911: Give name, location, and reason for calling.
2. Notify the campus administrator and School Nurse.
3. Call parent or guardian, notify them of situation, and ask for medical history concerning allergies.
Definition: A bomb or terrorist threat occurs when a person threatens to commit an act which would inflict injury to any personal damage to any property. These threats may be made in person, in writing, over the telephone, electronically, or relayed by a second person. (Reference: CKC)
Action: If a bomb or terrorist threat is received, the following procedures should be followed.
1. The person receiving the threat should remain calm and complete the Bomb Threat Report Form (below). If the threat is made by telephone, keep the caller on the phone as long as possible.
2. Attempt to:
a) Identify background noises
b) Note distinguishing voice characteristics
3. Question the caller in a courteous manner
4. Try to obtain the following information if possible:
a) Location of bomb
b) Description of bomb
c) When it is due to explode
5. As soon as possible, the person receiving the threat should complete the Bomb Threat Checklist which includes the specific time and date of the threat, estimated sex, age, and race of caller and any other distinguishing characteristics.
The person receiving the threat should notify the campus administrator.
Call 911: give name, location, and reason for calling. Request police assistance.
Campus Administrator should contact the Superintendent
If the campus administrator determines the threat is valid, the building should be evacuated with the standard fire drill procedure.
After all students have been evacuated, they should remain outside the building until the Fire Department has indicated that it is safe to return.
Bomb Threat Report Form
WRITE DOWN THE EXACT WORDS OF THREAT
TIME: DATE: SEX OF CALLER: RACE: AGE
Questions to ask: (Remain calm and speak clearly)
1. When is the bomb expected to explode?
2. Where is the bomb?
3. What kind of bomb is it?
4. What does the bomb look like?
5. When did you place the bomb?
6. Why did you plant the bomb?
7. Where are you calling from?
8. What is your name?
LENGTH OF CALL
NUMBER AT WHICH CALL IS RECEIVED
BACKGROUND NOISE: street noise, house noises, music, office machinery, voices of others
If the voice is familiar, who did it sound like? OTHER:
REQUIRES ACTION: Notify the principal or designee.
Be prepared to notify the police and fire departments.
Background: The Communications Coordinator has an efficient means for disseminating information concerning events or situations within the school district or for an individual campus. To keep confusion and false news from being dispersed in the community, the Communications Coordinator, Superintendent, or his designee are the ONLY ones authorized to disseminate information during a crisis.
Action: In the event a crisis situation requires media involvement. Use the following procedures:
1. All information concerning an incident, accident, or crisis situation must be reported immediately to the Superintendent or the designee.
2. All information will be released to the media and the general public through the Communications Coordinator's office with approval from the Superintendent.
1. All Arp ISD employees are to refer any media questions to the campus principal, who will forward them to the Communications Coordinator.
2. An incident, accident, or crisis on campus or involving district property constitutes a situation and will often generate news reports regarding Arp ISD.
Therefore, anticipate media to be on the scene.
a) The principal must contact the Communications Coordinator's office or receive approval directly from the Superintendent before releasing information.
b) Direct all campus personnel to send media representatives to a predetermined campus location.
c) Only the Communications Coordinator, Superintendent, or the designee may release information to the media. Isolated quotes from teachers, students, or other personnel may be incomplete or misleading. Therefore must be avoided.
ALL MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR MIKE ALZAMORA
Death at School
Action/Definition: In the event of a death of a teacher, child, or other employee at school, the following procedures should be used:
1. Call 911: Give name, location, and reason for calling. Request police or medical assistance.
2. Attempt life sustaining actions by employee trained in CPR. (Faculty must know who has first aid training on a particular campus. On large campuses, faculty must know where these people can be found.)
3. Notify campus administrator, health coordinator, counselor, and Superintendent.
4. Send a school representative to pick up a family member and take to appropriate destination.
5. Refer all media requests to the Communications Coordinator's office.
6. Communications Coordinator and/or Superintendent must inform faculty and staff of situation as soon as possible.
7. Implement campus counseling procedures immediately.
8. Keep school day as near to normal as possible.
Action/Background: Prevention measures are a necessity in the event of an explosion or fire. (Reference: CKC)
In the event of fire or an explosion. the following steps should be followed:
1. Evacuate the building using standard procedures.
2. Call 911: Give name, specific location, and the reason for calling.
3. Administer necessary first aid.
4. Call Superintendent.
1. Display a copy of fire and disaster evacuation plans in a prominent place (every hall, common area, or classroom).
2. Have periodic evacuation drills so that procedures for emergencies are familiar.
Definition: Multiple members that band together for the sake of illegal or harmful activities
Action: Cult activities may involve an individual or group. Activities are characterized by destructive practices directed by an individual toward him or herself or toward objects. Activities include self-mutilation, tattooing, defacing property, and/or destruction of property. Cult activity may be the result in suicide attempts by individuals
The following procedures are recommended if cult activity is suspected:
1. Educate faculty/school personnel on gang/cult warning signs.
2. Refer any students suspected of this type of activity to the campus administrator.
3. Observe students (classroom hall, lunch, extra-curricular activities, etc.)
4. The campus administrator or counselor will contact the student's parents.
5. The counselor will maintain records and set up follow-up visits.
Definition: Natural gas leaks may bring the danger of explosion. Natural gas is mixed with Tertiary Butyl Mercaptan to give it an odor. The gas goes up (rises) and the odor goes down (falls).
Action: If a leak is in or near a building the following procedures should be used by the campus administrator:
1. Evacuate the building immediately following standard fire drill procedures. Get students a safe distance from the building or area. This includes persons that are unconscious. Make sure you escort students upwind away from any gas leak.
2. Notify the Superintendent and Director of Maintenance.
3. Turn off the main gas valve. Make sure the location of this valve is well documented.
4. Do not use intercom or electronic equipment during a leak
5. Call 911: Give name, location, and reason for calling. Request fire, police, and EMS assistance, if appropriate.
6. Call gas company Centerpoint Energy (713) 659-2111.
7. Keep students a safe distance until the problem has been corrected seek alternate housing if necessary.
Train Derailment/Toxic Spill
1. Contact Superintendent and Transportation Director.
2 Evacuate students from junior and senior high campuses to the elementary campus.
3. Call 911: Give name, location, and reason for calling.
4. Keep students at a safe distance until the problem has been corrected.
High-Risk Situations at School: Hostage
Background: With the increase of violence in our society, the probability of a high-risk situation occurring is becoming increasingly possible.
Action: In the event of a hostage situation, these procedures should be followed:
1. Call 911: Give name, location, and reason for calling
2. Notify Superintendent and campus administrator.
3. Hold all bells. Announce for teachers to react to a predetermined "phrase."
4. Alert other administrators. Have blueprints and predetermined liaisons available to assist police and fire department
5. Locate and isolate the suspect.
6. Someone should watch from a safe distance so the suspect's whereabouts will be shown when the police arrive. Do not attempt to stop the person.
7. Prepare to quietly evacuate the students. Nothing should be done to startle the suspect.
8. Once the area has been evacuated, no one should enter.
9. Have people available who can assist with information on students who are held hostage.
10. ALL MEDIA CONTACT will be referred to the Communications Coordinator and police.
HOW TO HANDLE SITUATION WHEN PERSONS ON THE ENROLLMENT CARD CANNOT BE REACHED
Definition: Parents or guardians must be notified when injuries or illnesses occur on campus or at school activities. In the event a parent or guardian cannot be reached the following procedures are suggested. (Reference: FFAC-(legal), FFAC-(local)
First Action: First actions to be followed:
1. Follow first aid or lifesaving techniques.
2. Contact campus administrator. school nurse, and 911.
3. A ALSO staff person should accompany the student.
4. Take "Emergency Care" from the hospital with you.
Follow-Up Action: Other actions to be followed:
1. Notify parents or emergency contact.
2. Locate older brother or sister too if needed.
3. Seek information from peers if necessary.
Definition: The unlawful seizure or detention of a person.
Action: Preventive measures which may help avoid kidnapping situations are as follows:
1. Enrollment cards of students who should not be released to anyone except a particular parent or guardian should be red-flagged
2. Before releasing a student to anyone except the parent or guardian designated, the school secretary should check with the custodial parent or guardian for approval. A record of the date and time of the phone approval should be made and kept..
3. When a parent telephones a request that a student be released from school, the identity of the caller should be confirmed before the student is permitted to leave. In the event of any doubt, the message and phone number should be written down and a return call should be made after cross-checking the phone number with those on the student's enrollment card.
4. Refer to Hostage procedures if necessary
Definition: When a student does not arrive at school and has not been reported as absent by the parent/guardian or if a student is suspected of running away between home and school.
Action: The following procedures are recommended:
1. Office staff alerts the principal if a student is suspected of running away between home and school.
2. Parents are advised to notify the police immediately if a child has been located.
3. Call 911: Give name, location, and reason for calling.
Action: The following procedures are recommended if a student runs away from school.
1. Call 911: give name. location, and reason for calling.
2. Principal contacts the parents/guardian.
3. Staff members follow and try to retrieve the student.
Action: For both situations listed above use the following procedures.
1. Call Superintendent.
2. Call counselor.
All AISD employees should direct media requests to the Communications Coordinator.
Mass Involvement of Students: (Asphyxiation, Food Poisoning, Contamination, Communicable Disease)
Definition: Asphyxiation, food poisoning, chemical spill, or exposures to communicable disease may involve large groups of students. A current list of trained campus personnel will be easily accessible in case of emergency.
Action: The following procedures are recommended:
1. Notify Campus Administrator, School Nurse, Counselor, and Superintendent.
2. Call 911:(if needed)
3. Evacuate (Triage) students for medical treatment.
4. Remove all students/personnel from the exposed area (if needed).
5. Notify parents of injured/sick students.
6. Notify proper authorities and/or personnel to investigate and remediate the area of exposure.
Access to buildings during an emergency situation:
A. High School
1. Front of school involved: use entrance closest to the athletic field house or cafeteria entrance. The helicopter landing zone will be the football practice field.
2. Back of school involved: evacuate students to practice field area in front of the school.
B. Junior High School
1. Evacuate students to the football stadium.
2. Landing for the helicopter will be the High School practice field.
C. Elementary School
1. Close front of the school (drop-off) for emergency vehicles.
2. Landing zone will be the playground field.
Mass Involvement of Students: Disruptions/Demonstrations/Riots
Definition: Conduct by students which disrupts class work or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others in prohibited. (Reference: FNCI)
Action: if there is a reason to believe that students are involved in disruption or riotous behavior, the following procedures are recommended:
1. Principal must be contacted.
2. Call the Superintendent.
3. Call 911: Give name, location of incident, and reason for calling. Request appropriate assistance.
-Name of location of caller
-Nature of incident
-Approximate number of people involved
Stranger in the Building/Intruder/Loitering
Definition: identification must be made. Signs should be posted at building entrances asking visitors to go to the principal's office and identify themselves. Intruders are unauthorized visitors on campus who are trespassing or loitering on school property. Loitering on a school campus or in a building, or near a school campus is a misdemeanor.
Action: The following procedures am recommended for intruders or strangers who may be trespassing or loitering on the school campus.
1. Approach the loiters, determine the nature of their presence. and direct and/or accompany them to the proper place.
2. Report the incident to the campus principal. If they have no acceptable purpose, the Principal or designee will ask the person(s) to leave.
3. If the person refuses to leave, call 911: give name, location, and reason for calling. Request police assistance. Give a description and the approximate location of the intruder.
4. Notify the Superintendent
5. Principals may issue an Intruder Alert with a code for the person being inside the building or outside the area.
Student(s) Left at School
Definition: Parents should be notified about hours of supervision. When students are left at school and/or not picked up from extra-curricular activities, the following procedures are recommended:
Action: Procedures to follow in this situation will depend on the age of the student.
1. Call the parent or guardian if the student knows the telephone number
2. Look in the school records to find an additional telephone number or people to contact
THE CHILD SHOULD NOT BE LEFT ALONE
FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP (Police Department if necessary)
SCHOOL PERSONNEL ARE ADVISED NOT TO TAKE STUDENTS HOME IN PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION
Suicide: Threats, Attempts, and Completion
Background: Any student who has a plan to commit suicide or appears to be at high risk or has been reported by another student to be at high risk.
Action: The reasons for suicide among young people are many and varied. Some of the most common is lack of attention, spite, or anger. The most characteristic feature of suicidal persons is being aggressive to self rather than the directing of aggression outward toward the environment.
Intervention - Refer to School Counselor and/or Principal.
Interventions may include:
For a Suicide Threat:
1. Notify the District Counselor or School Nurse.
2. Listen effectively. An effort should be made to understand the feelings being expressed behind the words. Allow the person to express his/her feelings
in a nonjudgmental way.
3. Ask directly if the individual has entertained thoughts of suicide. Discuss it openly and frankly.
4. Determine by using the suicide questionnaire. the intensity or severity of the suicide threat.
5. Act definitively. A "no-suicide contract" should be signed. Make copies...send one copy home by the student.
6. If a student is referred to district services and refuses to sign a contract, a referral to community services
should be given to the student and/or parent.
7. Parents should be contacted.
8. Evaluate the available resources:
a. The East Texas Crisis
b. Andrews Center
c. ETMC Behavior Health resources: Center Hotline Center (903)595-5591 (903)569-5409 (903)566-8666
9. Do not be misled if the individual admits seriously to considering suicide and then makes light of the issue.
1o. Be a non-judgmental listener who shows interest and support.
Suicide Questionnaire (To be given by the counselor)
Actions : It is very important to confer with the student to gather first-hand knowledge about his/her suicidal thoughts. The evaluator needs to remain calm assess the situation in a very thorough manner. The following questions should be asked of the student:
1. How will you do it? (Is the plan vague or specific?)
2. How much do you want to die?
3. How much do you want to live?
4. How often do you have these thoughts? (Rarely or constantly?)
5. When you are thinking of suicide, what thoughts stay with you?
6. Is there anyone or anything to stop you? (look for student support group or lifeline.)
7. Have you ever attempted suicide? (A history of suicidal thinking. gestures or attempts high risk) Has a family member attempted/completed suicide? (If so. this increases the risk.)
8. Do you have a plan? (Look for specifics: choosing a specific time. giving personal possessions to friends. wiring a note, or saying "good-bye".)
9. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to try and kill yourself?
10. What has happened that makes life not worth living? (sources of stress. loss, helplessness?)
Contracting Against Suicide (to be done by counselor)
Background: Any student who has a plan to commit suicide or appears to be a high risk based on responses on the Suicide questionnaire should sign a contract assuming responsibility to ensure his/her own safety.
The contract should be written up individually and signed by the student and an adult. A sample contract appears below.
I, __________________, a student at Arp ISD, take the responsibility for my welfare and agree not to harm myself in any way. I understand that if I am having suicidal thoughts that I agree to call the Crisis Hotline or I If I cannot reach the hotline. I will tell an adult and get help for myself.
An encouraging note is that one study of 600 adolescents who signed contracts found not one committed suicide.
If the student refuses to sign a contract, the adult needs to push harder to refer the student and his/her family toward services in the community, and close parental supervision is warranted.
Definition: Telephone threats made against individuals or buildings should be taken seriously. The following procedures are recommended in the event of a threat.
Action: In the event of a telephone threat use the following procedures:
1. Remain calm and businesslike.
2. Write down information from the call using the Bomb Threat Report Form.
3. Inform the campus principal of the threat.
4. Principal may evaluate situation using available information and decide upon a plan of action.
5. Call Superintendent.
Definition: Severe weather guidelines are provided by me National Weather Service.
TORNADO WATCH: Means no funnel clouds have been sighted but tornadoes can be expected to occur. If Tornado Watch is declared be prepared to follow Tornado Drill Procedure.
TORNADO WARNING: Means a funnel cloud has actually been sighted. The approximate location and direction of travel is usually provided when the warning is broadcast.
Action: Information regarding the threat of tornadoes will be broadcast on the Weather Alert Warning radio and television stations.
1. Tornado drills will be held so that teachers and students will be familiar with alarms and safe areas.
2. In the event of potentially bad weather, administrators will monitor media and weather conditions.
3. When a tornado appears, the alarm will be sounded.
4. Teachers shall remain calm and keep grade books and/or class rolls with them.
5. Students and teachers will take cover in a safe place, putting their backs against a wall, if possible, with students covering their heads.
6. Students and teachers will remain in safe areas until it is determined that other severe weather will not occur.
7. Students and teachers will return to classes when the all-clear signal is given.
8. In the event damage occurs, you will be instructed on safety procedures by the administration.
IDENTIFICATION: A district may require a person who enters a district campus to display the person’s driver’s license or another form of identification containing the person’s photograph issued by a governmental entity
VISITOR DATABASE: A district may establish an electronic database for the purpose of storing information concerning visitors to district campuses. Information stored in the electronic database may be used only for the purpose of school district security and may not be sold or otherwise disseminated to a third party for any purpose.
Signs on each entry will be displayed indicating where & how visitors are to gain admittance to the facility.
Each Visitor (parent, service provider, etc) will present an official photo ID to the campus secretary. All visitors will sign in at the front desk, provide the phone number, the purpose of the visit, and will sign out upon leaving the facility.
If admitted to any student areas or common hallways visitors will be issued a Visitor's Badge indicating who they are visiting and/or for what purpose. This badge will be dated and must be visible at all times. If visitors are only admitted to front offices (i.e. principal's or superintendent's office), they are not required to wear a badge.
Visitors will be escorted through the hallways.
All staff members have been issued an ID Badge. However, these are not required by all supervisors as all faculty and staff members have their photos on the district & campus websites. Our district is so small that we are aware of employee changes and all current employees.
Teachers are required to keep their doors locked at all times so that uninvited guests can not access classrooms.
Unknown visitors to the Elementary Campus will be scanned through a Criminal Database
These sheets are to be dated and kept as documentation of visitors to each facility.
All Service Providers must be escorted to their service area and must sign out upon leaving facility.
SEX OFFENDERS: A district may verify whether a visitor to a district campus is a sex offender registered with the computerized central database maintained by the Department of Public Safety as provided by Code of Criminal Procedure 62.005 or any other database accessible by the district.
A board shall adopt a policy regarding the action to be taken by the administration of a school campus when a visitor is identified as a sex offender. Education Code 38.022
MILITARY RECRUITERS’ ACCESS TO STUDENTS: Each district receiving assistance under the ESEA shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to institutions of higher education or to prospective employers of those students. 20 U.S.C. 7908(a)(3)
Definition: A weapon is any instrument that may produce bodily harm or death. Weapons include. but are not limited to, any knife, firearm, air gun, sword, spear, ax, tomahawk, club, explosive device, fireworks, or another incendiary device, throwing instrument, an instrument of the martial arts, firearm silencer, firearm ammunition, brass knuckles, blackjack, nightstick, mace, chain belt, spiked bracelet, razor, box cutter, ice pick, screwdriver, cattle prod, homemade weapon, or any other device classified as an unlawful weapon, or which may produce bodily harm or death. (Reference: FNCG)
Action: Follow the following procedures:
1. Upon learning of possession of a weapon on any Arp ISD property, immediately initiate steps to reduce the risk.
2. Contact campus principal.
3. Gather information to determine the location of the weapon or possible offender.
4. Questioning by the law enforcement officer.
ACTIVE SHOOTER -WATCH Homeland Security/Navy Seals Videos BELOW
Employee Handgun Signs posted at all campuses
Security Personnel, Police, and first respondents are able to have access to all cameras via mobile devices and can monitor the movement of intruders and/or active shooters. All video servers are published servers. Access codes to video are available from any of Arp ISD's Technology Personnel.
Video Surveillance cameras are monitored in the campus office (for that campus) and at the Arp ISD Technology Dept. (all cameras). Access to these videos is available to security personnel and appropriate administrators.
Channel 1 Radios (on each campus and at Police Station & at the City Hall)
Voxer or Text with the volume turned down.
1. Use feeling words (sad, scared, etc.) in response to students' feelings is acceptable. Accept feelings as normal. Feelings are not right or wrong.
2. Assess suicide risk (utilizing suicide questionnaire for documentation) in at-risk students.
3. Provide 1-3 days of intervention and post-intervention support Troubled students and students at-risk need to be referred to professional counseling.
4. Alter the first couple of days, routine should be reinstated as soon as possible, depending on the situation.
5. Make no schedule changes in class schedule. Faculty meetings or specific student groups (i.e. support group) may need to be added as a response to a crisis.
6. Do give limited details of death. Focus on survivors and not the deceased. Speculation about reasons is not productive. Operate on what is known (facts) versus speculation and assumptions. DO NOT GOSSIP!
7. No public address announcement or large gatherings should be conducted. It is recommended that you do not have flag flown at half mast.
8. Acknowledge a suicide death with sadness, as a tragedy. Do not attempt to verbalize reasons for the death (to justify it).
9. Support verbally the administrators, guidance staff, and teachers.
10. Stay on campus and be available to assist, if needed or applicable. (Include: students, secretary, guidance counselor, teachers, parents, bus driver, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, etc.).
11. Grief is an extended process. Direct the process and realize it may not be complete for another day or so.
12. Touch or hug, as appropriate, to offer emotional support.
13. Realize your personal pre-crisis priorities may need to be reviewed and adjusted. Schedules may need to be updated at this time.
14. Limit the role of parent groups. Extra people on campus without a designated role are not necessary. It may be useful to organize telephone/social media communications for parents to give them facts and explain the school's actions.
15. Provide accurate details of the situation. Discourage speculation and rumors. Contagion effects are reduced with facts, information, and emotional support. Fear of the unknown is reduced with facts, information, and emotional support.
16. Provide positive comments about the manner in which the process is handled.
17. If you have concerns, seek consultation.
18. If you have questions, ask.
Principals are required to review this plan with staff each year and recommend updates as needed. Once you have reviewed the plan, please take this SHORT QUIZ to provide documentation that you understand the major responsibilities and procedures. If you don't pass with a 100 percent score, you will need to take a 2ND QUIZ. Please note that it is not safe to misunderstand the Crisis Management Plan.