Decatur County Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

8410B - IDENTIFYING AND RESPONDING TO IMMINENT WARNING SIGNS

Unlike early warning signs, imminent warning signs indicate that a student is very close to behaving in a way that is potentially dangerous to self and/or to others. Imminent warning signs require an immediate response.

No single warning sign can predict that a dangerous act will occur. Rather, imminent warning signs usually are presented as a sequence of overt, serious, hostile behaviors or threats directed at peers, staff, or other individuals. Usually, imminent warning signs are evident to more than one staff member--as well as to the child's family.

Imminent warning signs may include:

 

A.

Serious physical fighting with peers or family members.

     
 

B.

Severe destruction of property.

     
 

C.

Severe rage for seemingly minor reasons.

     
 

D.

Detailed threats of lethal violence.

     
 

E.

Possession and/or use of firearms and other weapons.

     
 

F.

Other self-injurious behaviors or threats of suicide.

When warning signs indicate that danger is imminent, safety must always be the first and foremost consideration. Action must be taken immediately. Immediate intervention by school authorities and possibly law enforcement officers is needed when a child:

 

A.

Has presented a detailed plan (time, place, method) to harm or kill others-particularly if the child has a history of aggression or has attempted to carry out threats in the past.

     
 

B.

Is carrying a weapon, particularly a firearm, and has threatened to use it.

In situations where students present other threatening behaviors, parents should be informed of the concerns immediately. School communities also have the responsibility to seek assistance from appropriate agencies, such as child and family services, community mental health, and local law enforcement agencies. These responses should reflect school board policies and be consistent with the violence prevention and response plan.

© Neola 2011