FILE:  EBBB

Cf:  EBBC, JCDAG

 

SCHOOL AND STUDENT SAFETY

 

 

The Richland Parish School Board is committed to providing a safe environment for the students and employees of its schools.  The School Board shall take immediate action to address any potential threats of violence or terrorism to students and employees as required by the Louisiana School and Student Safety Act (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:409.1-17:410).

 

The School Board shall develop, in consultation with local law enforcement agencies, age appropriate information regarding internet and cell phone safety and online content that is a potential threat to school safety.  The information shall include how to recognize and report potential threats to school safety posted on the internet, including but not limited to social media posts.  This information shall be distributed or explained to school personnel and students at the beginning of each school year, and posted on an easily accessible page of each school’s website, as well as the website of the School Board.  Such information shall include instruction on how to detect potential threats to school safety, visual examples of possible threats, and the process for reporting such threats.

 

DEFINITIONS

 

The term school is as defined by La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:236 as an institution for the teaching of children, consisting of an adequate physical plant, whether owned or leased, instructional staff members, and students, and which operates a minimum session of not less than one hundred eighty (180) days.

 

The term threat of violence means communication, whether oral, visual, or written, including but not limited to electronic mail, letters, notes, social media posts, text messages, blogs, or posts on any social networking website, of any intent to kill, maim, or cause great bodily harm to a student, teacher, principal, or school employee on school property or at any school function.

 

The term threat of terrorism means communication, whether oral, visual, or written, including but not limited to electronic mail, letters, notes, social media posts, text messages, blogs, or posts on any social networking website, of any crime of violence that would reasonably cause any student, teacher, principal, or school employee to be in sustained fear for his safety, cause the evacuation of a building, or cause other serious disruption to the operation of a school.

 

MANDATORY REPORTING

 

Any administrator, teacher, counselor, bus operator, or other school employee, whether full-time or part-time, who learns of a threat of violence or threat of terrorism, whether through oral communication, written communication, or electronic communication, shall:

 

  1. Immediately report the threat to a local law enforcement agency if there is a reasonable belief that the threat is credible and imminent.

  2. Immediately report the threat to school administrators for further investigation, in compliance with this policy, if the threat does not meet the standard of reasonable belief provided for above.

 

No person shall have a cause of action against any person for any action taken or statement made in adherence with the requirement for reporting as provided herein.  However, the immunity from liability provided in this policy shall not apply to any action or statement if the action or statement was maliciously, willfully, and deliberately intended to cause harm to, harass, or otherwise deceive law enforcement or school officials.

 

Reporting Procedures

 

The Superintendent shall be authorized to develop and maintain administrative procedures for reporting potential threats to school safety.  The reporting procedures, at a minimum, shall include:

 

  1. A standardized form to be used by students and school personnel to report potential threats which requests, at a minimum, the following information:

 

  1. Name of school, person, or group being threatened.

  2. Name of student, individual, or group threatening violence.

  3. Date and time the threat was made.

  4. Method by which the threat was made, including the social media outlet or website where the threat was posted, a screenshot or recording of the threat, if available, and any printed evidence of the threat.

 

  1. A process for allowing school personnel to assist students in completing the standardized form.

  2. A process for allowing reporting by an automated voice system.

  3. A process for allowing anonymous reporting and for safeguarding the identity of a person who reports a threat.

  4. For every threat reported, a school administrator shall record, on the form provided, the action taken by the school.

 

If information reported to a school is deemed a potential threat to school safety, the school shall present the form and evidence to local law enforcement agencies.  If the information poses an immediate threat, school administrators shall follow procedures provided in the school’s Crisis Management and Response Plan.

 

THREAT ASSESSMENT

 

When any potential threat of violence or terrorism has been reported to a school administrator, an investigation shall be made according to administrative procedures which shall include, at a minimum:

 

  1. Conducting an interview with the person reporting a threat, the person allegedly making a threat, and all witnesses, and;

  2. Securing any evidence, including but not limited to statements, writings, recordings, electronic messages, and photographs.

 

If the investigation results in evidence or information that raises a concern that a threat is credible and imminent, the threat shall be immediately reported to a local law enforcement agency for further investigation.

 

MANDATORY EVALUATION

 

If the person who is reported to a local law enforcement agency is a student, the student shall not be permitted to return to school until undergoing a formal mental health evaluation.

 

If the person who is reported to a local law enforcement agency is not a student, he or she shall not be permitted to be within five hundred feet (500’) of any school until he or she has undergone a formal medical or mental health evaluation and has been deemed by a health care professional not to be dangerous to himself/herself or others.

 

New policy:  October 16, 2018

 

 

Ref:    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§17:236, 17:409.1, 17:409.2, 17:409.3, 17:409.4, 17:409.5, 17:410

Board minutes, 10-16-18

 

Richland Parish School Board