MCPS Releases Violence Prevention and Threat Assessment Document
With the rash of incidents across the state and the country following the school shootings in Parkland, Florida, Missoula County Public Schools has released details of their Violence Prevention and Threat Assessment policy.
Communications Director Hatton Littman said the document was released to all the public schools, school families and their Facebook page on Friday afternoon.
“We have posted a violence prevention and threat assessment document,” said Littman. “We recognize that over the past few weeks people have wanted to know more information about what we do to keep our schools safe. We are trying to comply with that, granted, that we also have to keep some of that information private to make sure that some people can’t out think our security measures. We’re trying to share as much as we can to increase people’s comfort.”
Littman said throughout the past few weeks of incidents in Missoula schools, protocols have already been in place to address the issues.
“We have had established crisis plans in all of our buildings,” she said. “We’ve had established threat assessment procedures that our staff utilize when we have a situation that we need to resolve. I think the other two really important points are that threat assessment is a violence prevention strategy, and it’s something that the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education both support. We also do consult with local resources like the local PD and sheriff’s offices, as well as local community health providers to make sure that our assessments are fine tuned to our local needs.”
Litton emphasized the fact that when a student has violated the security protocols of the school district, there are two levels of response.
“Some of those measures involve local mental health services, but they also always involve legal consequences and a law enforcement consult,” she said. “I don’t want family members or the community to perceive that we only provide mental health services in the absence of legal or law enforcement support, but I want to be clear that the evidence-based strategies that we use that are designed to reduce the likelihood of a threat, do involve mental health support for those individuals who make threats, because the evidence says that actually reduces the possibility of violence occurring.”
One aspect of the policy is below.
Disciplinary measures include, but are not limited to:
Expulsion, Suspension, Detention, including Saturdays, Clean-up duty, Loss of student privileges, Loss of bus privileges, Notification to juvenile authorities and/or police, Restitution for damages to school property.
The Board grants authority to any teacher and to any other school personnel to impose on students under their charge any disciplinary measure, other than suspension or expulsion, corporal punishment or in-school suspension, that is appropriate and in accordance with policies and rules on student discipline. The Board authorizes teachers to remove students from classrooms for disruptive behavior.