A Few Highlights from the Day
Mark Sullivan, former Director of U.S. Secret Service
- ARIZONA and ABEC are doing a first in gathering almost all the groups that are needed, under one roof, to help solve this challenging problem. (Attendees included educators, law enforcement, mental health professionals, policy makers, community and business leaders.)
- Must join lanes (no silos) to produce safe, secure, welcoming, effective schools -- is the challenge and opportunity of this conclave.
- What does school safety mean? ...gun violence, drug free, bullying free, gang free, sexual predator free? All of the above. Solve for all these, as they contribute to feeling safe and secure in the learning environment.
- Must build a prevention and intervention model by forming collaborative teams like a baseball team and all positions needed. Multi agency is critical to prevention model.
- Everyone in the environment should be an INTELLIGENCE OFFICER feeding information in to the proper members of the team.
- Must PREPARE a plan, COMMUNICATE the plan to all, must TEST the plan, and must PRACTICE the plan.
- ALIGN resources against highest risk and threat….ALL should know their role and how to act in an emergency.
- Practice must become muscle memory.
- Leverage each other’s knowledge and resources.
- EVERYONE must know, who to call, what to do, and where to be.
Dr. William Beverly, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Health Sciences and Counseling Faculty, South Mountain Community College
- Many Diversion programs available from County for first offenders. County jails are largest institutions for providing mental health. SCHOOLS may have the largest need and need for early identification and intervention resources.
- The Center for Rural Mental Health at University of Missouri has plans and good helps for the rural part of our State.
- Need loan forgiveness for mental health professionals willing to work in rural, hard to fill positions.
- Mental Health Checkup is needed every year, not because something is wrong but because we want to stay healthier, same as physical and dental.
Mr. Rick Miller, Founder & CEO, Kids at Hope and Professor of Practice, ASU’s Center for the Advanced Study and Practice of HOPE
- “It takes a village to raise an educated child”, How do you prevent the spread of Hopelessness for children? Kids do better when you believe in them than the reverse. Kids do better who have meaningful relationships with caring adults in the school. Kids need to have, “Mental Time Travel” to consider what kind of family life, hobbies, friends, careers and education they may want. “Who do you want to be when you grow up” not just what do you want to be when you grow up.”
- Hope is learned and needs to be present in our kids minds and hearts.
Ms. Kelli Donley Williams, Suicide Prevention Specialist, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)
- …is happy to partner with any school district with a plan for mental health, leverage resources, etc.
Mr. Andre Simons, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group, Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU)
- We must focus on the prevention of targeted violence and early data and identification to prevent people on that path.
- Look for mental health stressors, bullying, job, school, marriage, isolation, money, are the precursors.
- Look at behaviors, social media posts, grievances as possible indicators of needed help and support
- Bystanders are critical to noticing this kind of behavior and giving it to proper authorities.
- Notoriety is craved.
- Resources include, Salem-Kaiser school district plan, www.studentthreatassesment.org , Virginia student threat assessment, Behavioral Threat Assessment Center(BTAC).
Dr. Joseph Erardi, Ed.D., former School Superintendent, Newtown, CT.
- We need to know our most complex kids and help early, the Chief School Officer and the Chief Law Official must build trust, plan, communicate talk to the Public together.
- A Gap analysis of the most-safe and the least safe of our schools must be analyzed and the gap reduced.
Download Dr. Erardi's presentation here.
And a few other notables:
- Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has a 3 million-dollar behavioral health effort.
- We as a unified task force need to have a base plan that provides a template, road map of training and resource guide and checklist for all of our districts, that is customizable.
- Assessments must be MEANINGFUL, REASONABLE AND SUSTAINABLE.
- The TRUST (Arizona School Risk Retention Trust) has many resources currently available for Districts to ASSESS, Plan and Train for many of these issues. These prevention plans can cut the cost of insurance to help pay for some prevention resources.
- this conference is the only one like it in America that is occurring before the tragedy and encouraged us to keep the work going.