It is important to point out that despite the best efforts of our public schools to keep students and staff safe, threats of violence may still occur. Human error, communication gaps, and inconsistencies in responding to threats can have a devastating impact. No matter what one may believe is the right solution to violence in public schools, school and community leaders must coordinate their efforts to promote school safety.
There are many factors that impact a school district’s ability to minimize threats of violence, including but not limited to:
- Taking all threats seriously;
- Reporting threats to and collaborating with law enforcement;
- Ensuring that the District and other officials are acting on correct information;
- Preparing our students and staff on what to do in the event of an act of violence at school; and as noted above
- Creating a culture and expectation for students and staff that if they “see something, say something.”
Each student needs Montana’s public schools to be safe for learning, growing, playing and exploring. School districts meet that need. There are measures school leaders can take to maximize the resources for school security. Additionally, there are legal options for schools to coordinate with law enforcement to ensure students in need of assistance receive the early intervention and care that they need. Finally, there are policies and procedures that, when adopted, implemented and reviewed, can help a school district identify and mitigate potential threats to student safety.