Don Shomette

People are the Prize


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Categories: How To Know When a Student is a Threat

We live in a world of full of categories. Your country, state, faith, profession…these and many others may be a category for you. Categories are not a bad thing since they can help us to better understand a person and maybe even to predict their future behaviors.
When it comes to preventing violence, every student falls into one of two categories. Those who will not use violence to get what they want and those who will use violence to get what they want.
In conducting a student threat assessment, you must first determine what category the student falls into–will they use violence or will they not use violence? After that, it’s all about trying to lower the risk level.

 


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Relevant, Realistic, Results

Parents can be a great help in making your school safer.  We just have to tell them how to do it.  Like most people, including you and me, parents like simple tasks that are relevant, realistic, and most important—produce results.  It’s a real motivation and energy suck to be given a task that is so big and squishy that you have no idea when you’ve accomplished it—if you even can.

What I mean is…

Don’t leave it at just asking your parents to help make your school safe. That’s way too big and in truth, impossible to accomplish. We can’t make our schools safe—just safer. Instead, tell your parents to do this one thing…Don’t leave it at just asking your parents to help make your school safe.  That’s way too big and in truth, impossible to accomplish.  We can’t make our schools safe—just safer.  Instead, tell your parents to do this one thing…

Tell someone immediately if their child is afraid for their safety or the safety of someone else.

That’s it.  The task is relevant, realistic, and will produce enormous results.  If every parent did just this one thing, we would greatly reduce violence in our schools and therefore make them safer—a lot safer.  At least one student has known about the impending attack in three quarters of previous school attacks.  That means we could have prevented attacks like Columbine if someone would have just come forward.  If parents know what to do, and their part to play is simple and will make a difference, I have faith they will help us out.

So let’s get them on our team!

I’ve included a short letter to parents.  Feel free to use it or to modify it any way that helps you!

Dear Parents,

I have one request and it’s an easy one.  Please tell me immediately if your child is afraid for their safety or the safety of someone else.  Other schools are suffering violence while students and parents have known about it before it has happened.  I don’t want that to happen here.  We can’t let that happen here, but it’s going to take all of us working together.

I’ve included a number (email, text, anonymous, etc) that you can call any time of the day.  This may seem like a small part to play, but it’s a critical one and one that will make a big difference in helping us to make our school safer.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how ‘small’ it seems.  If there’s even the slightest chance that someone will get hurt—I want to know about it.  And please don’t delay, but call immediately!

If you have any questions, I’m always available for you!