Unit 1 Edit
Project SAVE was signed into law by Governor Pataki on 24 July 2000. It is the most comprehensive school safety law in the nation and promotes a safer and more effective learning environment in NY schools. It draws upon the considerable expertise and insight of knowledgeable individuals in formulating strategies for addressing school safety. This comprehensive approach and focus on community participation and involvement helps incorporate best practices and program models that have proven effective for many schools. Creating and organizing school safety teams provides a proven model for drawing upon both school and community resources for enhancing the safety of students in school.
Research has indicated that positive, skills-based approaches focusing on strengths may increase the safety of students and teachers in schools and promote an improved instructional climate for learning. While schools play a vital role in the prevention of violence through preparedness, they need help from the entire community in this effort.
Unit 2 Edit
New York City has adopted a District-wide School Safety Plan and a Building-level Emergency Response Plan for each building in the district.
The District-wide School Safety Plan must include policies and procedures for responding to threats, acts of violence, prevention/intervention strategies (training, conflict resolution, peer mediation, contact with law enforcement and/or parents or guardians, etc), building security, dissemination of informational material on violent behaviors, safety training for staff and students, codes of conduct, and emergency response plans.
A safety team is appointed by district superintendent in all state schools. It requires school board representatives, student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel, and other school personnel. Districts are encouraged to consider the inclusion of individuals beyond the minimum required who can contribute to ensuring continuity between the district and building level plans. In New York City, teams are created on the district level with building-level participation.
A code of conduct applies to all students, staff, visitors, and teachers. At minimum, the code should include procedures for violating the code and imposing penalties, removal from classrooms, disciplinary procedures for visitors, parental notification, referral to human service agencies, detention/suspension/removal of disruptive students, appropriate dress code and language, security issues, and a committee to review code-related actions. There should also be provisions for ensuring compliance with laws related to disabled students, notify law enforcement of strong violations (e.g. crime), and minimum suspensions for constantly disruptive or violent students. NYC Student Disciplinary Procedures
A building-level safety team is appointed by the school principal under BoE guidelines and includes teachers, admins, parental organizations, school safety personnel, community members, law enforcement, and local ambulance/emergency response agencies. Districts are encouraged to consider the inclusion of individuals beyond the minimum required who can contribute to ensuring continuity between the district and building level plans. Plans must be submitted to local law enforcement and the New York State Police. Chancellor's Regulation A-414 designates that the committee must meet on a monthly basis.
The committee shall be comprised of the following individuals: (1) Principal of the host building; (2) Principal/Designee of any other program operating within the building; (3) U.F.T. Chapter Leader; (4) Custodial Engineer/Designee; (5) In-house School Safety Agent Level III/Designee; (6) NYPD Precinct Commanding Officer/Designee; (7) Parent Association President/Designee; (8) Dietician/Designee of food services for the site; (9) Representative of the Student Body; and (10) Any other person or persons deemed essential by the committee.
An emergency response plan on the building level should include policies and procedures for securing and restricting access to crime scene, safe evacuation plans (e.g. routes, shelters, medical needs, notifications to parents), designating a response team, access to all building plans (floors, blueprints, schematics, grounds, roads around the building), internal/external communications, implementing an incident command system (ICS), coordinating with the Statewide Disaster Mental Health Plan, and procedures to review and test these plans.
Schools should build on any plans. Plans should be developed through an open process with community involvement, be comprehensive with activities from early prevention to response, be based on data assessment, user-friendly, easy to read, understandable, should clearly define rules and responsibilities, coordinated with nonpublic schools and recognize the need of special populations, and should remain current. Staff development should be included in the planning process.
For response, information must be given regarding assignment of responsibilities, access to floor plans, notification and activation, hazard guidelines, evacuation procedures, and security of a crime scene.
Among internal and external communication systems that will be used in emergencies are telephones, intercoms, a district radio system, local media, the Emergency Alert System, bull horns, the bus radio system, a runner system, and NOAA Weather Radio.
Among hazards are kidnappings, threats of violence, weather emergencies, civil disturbances, school bus accidents, gas leaks, intruders, bomb threats, biological, radiological, or other hazardous materials, epidemics, and any others as determined by the safety team. Evacuation procedures for these hazards must include plans for before, during, or after school hours, security, evacuation routes, sheltering sites, addressing medical needs, transportation, notification of parents/guardians, and any other procedures determined by the safety team.
For securing a crime scene, a principal or other selected designee is responsible until law enforcement relieves them of their duty. No items shall be moved, cleaned, or altered without prior approval from the appropriate law enforcement agency. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to preclude the rescue and aid of injured persons. To help students recover from a school crime, short-term plans should address mental health counseling, school security, facility restoration, post-incident response critique, and anything else determined by the safety team. Long-term plans should address the same counseling and security issues along with preventing recurrence and minimizing the impact of a repeat event.
Unit 3 Edit
Prospective school district employees and applicants for certification are required to be fingerprinted for a criminal background check in order to be cleared for employment. This does not apply to volunteers or current employees, but if a current employee terminates employment and seeks employment in a different school district, the individual must undergo the fingerprints process. This law will also apply if a currently certified individual applies for additional certification, such as a teacher applying for an administrator certificate. Any criminal history records will be sent by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services and FBI to the New York State Education Department for review and consideration for employment or certification. Applicants who are denied clearance will be afforded an opportunity to challenge the determination by the New York State Education Department and to review and challenge content of criminal history records through the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services process.
Uniform violent incident reporting was established by the New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services. Schools must report the following on an annual basis to the chancellor or or commissioner of education: Amount and types of violent incidents, number of suspensions/other discipline, incident locations, if a weapon was involved, the school's actions, ages/grades of involved students, and the victim's nature/age when appropriate. This includes an annual report to the governor and the legislature regarding the prevalence of violent incidents on school grounds and at school-sponsored functions, and inclusion of such information on school report cards.
All NYC schools receive "report cards" which outline any criminal activity and compares them to an average of similar-sized schools. The reports are categorized by major crimes (NYPD reports), other crimes (minor violations), and non-criminal incidents (disruptive behaviors).
Child Abuse reporting: Mandated Reporter.
There has been an increase in coordination between the juvenile justice system and schools. Family and criminal courts are now required to notify schools about juvenile delinquency adjudications. This information can only be used in the execution of a student's educational plan. Schools are also required to appoint a Designated Education Official (DEO) to receive records and coordinate students' participation in programs. These records cannot be part of a student's permanent record.
Each code must contain "a bill of rights and responsibilities of students which focuses upon positive student behavior (things students should or have the right to do), and which shall be publicized and explained to all students on an annual basis." Students have the right to participate in all activities on an equal basis and receive copies of the school rules and interpretations of them. Students are responsible for daily attendance and being on time unless otherwise excused and to seek help in addressing personal problems that might result in discipline.
Codes of conduct are also established for parents (e.g. ensuring attendance and maintaining communication/understanding of rules), teachers (e.g. be respectful toward students, open with parents/guardians), guidance counselors (e.g. helping students cope with peer pressure and initiate conferences), principals (e.g. creating an environment conducive to teaching and learning), superintendents (e.g. code enforcement and promoting consistent/fair enforcement), the school board (e.g. responsive to community and updated laws), and visitors (e.g. report directly to the principal upon arrival).
Each code must contain a provision that delineates acceptable and unacceptable behavior, language, and dress. In addition, codes must set forth provisions regarding civil and respectful treatment of teachers, school administrators, other school personnel, students, and visitors. A typical code contains a separate section for dress requirements and integrates rules regarding language into its section outlining inappropriate behavior or conduct. NYC Student Discipline Code
Dress codes should not be in violation of First Amendment rights (Freedom of Speech can include clothing). They should outline rules that relate to a specific education purpose but should not block political/religious statements if the clothing is not disruptive or offensive. Dress codes cannot be subjective, vague, or too broad.
School districts have discretion when creating a list of prohibited behavior and language, but by regulation the following must be disciplined: possession or use of illegal substances or weapons, use of physical force, vandalism, violation of another student's civil rights, harassment and threats of violence.
The Dignity for All Students Act (1 July 2012) was established to provide a school environment free of discrimination and harassment. The legislation was created to protect those who are subjected to intimidation or abuse based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex. According to The Dignity Act, harassment is defined as "creation of hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being;..."
HHS defines bullying as "aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. Usually, it is repeated over time. Traditionally, bullying has involved actions such as: hitting or punching (physical bullying), teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying), or intimidation through gestures or social exclusion. In recent years, technology has given children and youth a new means of bullying each other. Cyberbullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, can involve: sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; posting sensitive, private information about another person; pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad; (or) intentionally excluding someone from an online group."
In order for students to make the most of their academic and social potential, they must feel secure and safe in their learning environment. Because cyberbullying has no geographic boundaries, students must have clear guidance so they know the appropriate steps to take when confronted by cyberbullying or bullying. Guidance, social work, and/or psychological services are encouraged to be provided for students who are the victims of bullying and cyberbullying.
Schools and teachers should also educate students about cyberbullying, be sure that school rules address this, closely monitor students' computer use, use filtering and tracking software (but not be reliant on it), and investigate any cyberbullying reports immediately. They should notify the parents of involved students, closely monitor these students' behaviors, and investigate to see if the victim needs support.
Consequences of rule violations must be included in the code of conduct, such as verbal and written warnings, parental notifications, time outs, detention, cleanup work, suspension from athletics and other extracurricular activities, and short or long term suspensions.
Unit 4 Edit
Units 1-3 assessment.
Unit 5 Edit
Well-functioning schools foster learning, safety, and socially appropriate behaviors. They have a strong academic focus, support achieving high standards, foster positive staff/student relationships, and provide meaningful parental/community involvement. Their address multiple factors and recognize that safety and order are related to children's social, emotional, and academic development.
Prevention starts by making sure the school campus is a safe and caring place. Effective and safe schools communicate a strong sense of security. This security can be enhanced by, among other things, reducing class/school size, supervising building and grounds access, closing campus during lunch periods, arranging supervision at critical times, staggering dismissal times and lunch periods, and coordinating with local police to ensure safe routes to and from school. Schools should also identify safe areas to go in times of crisis and should be kept physically tidy; its condition can play a role in student motivation, attitude, and behavior.
Everyone must be committed to improving schools. Schools that have close ties to families, support services, community police, the faith-based community, and the community at large can benefit from many valuable resources. Strategy can best be deployed in areas where there is a strong focus on academic achievement, there is clear communication of expectations, families are meaningfully involved, and communities are involved.
Research shows that a positive relationship with an adult who is available to provide support when needed is one of the most critical factors in preventing student violence. Schools can also reduce the risk of violence with appropriate education about firearms, providing strategy for dealing with feelings, appropriate expressions of anger, and conflict resolution. Effective schools communicate to students and the community that all children are respected.
It has been found that peers often are the most likely group to know in advance about potential school violence. Schools must create ways for students to safely report such troubling behaviors that may lead to dangerous situations. It is very important that children feel safe when expressing their needs, fears, and anxieties to school staff. Before and after school programs can help reduce school violence.
Schools should promote good citizenship and character, identify programs and assess progress toward solutions, and support students in transitioning to adult life/the workplace.
Effective educational strategies for violence prevention include mentoring, social skills, conflict resolution, peer mediation, and parent involvement. Some of the ways these strategies are used are through curricula that teach anger management, empathy and perspective taking, social problem solving, communication, and peace building.
Districts are required to include a civility, citizenship, and character education component in the K-12 course of instructions concerning the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity, and other positive traits.
The Board of Regents is required to review the current health curriculum requirements to ensure that students have sufficient time and instruction to develop skills to address issues of violence prevention and mental health. New York State's health education mandates are based on a skills-based approach in six critical areas: Communication, decision making, planning and goal setting, self-management, stress management, and advocacy. Students must demonstrate competency in each of these areas, and effective inter-personal violence prevention curriculum includes all of these skill areas. The Commissioner shall develop and distribute an interpersonal violence prevention package to schools for use in health and related areas.
Educators and families can increase their ability to recognize early warning signs by establishing close, caring, and supportive relationships with children and youth--getting to know them well enough to be aware of their needs, feelings, attitudes, and behavior patterns. Educators and parents together can review school records for patterns of behavior or sudden changes in behavior. But early warning signs can be misunderstood. Students, educators, and principals can prevent this by using several significant principals such as do no harm, understand violence and aggression within context, avoiding stereotypes, viewing warning signs within a developmental context, and understanding that children usually exhibit multiple warning signs.
Different combinations of events, behaviors, and emotions may lead to aggressive rage or violent behavior toward self or others. A good rule of thumb is to assume that these warning signs, especially when they are presented in combination, indicate a need for further analysis to determine an appropriate intervention. These signs alone, however, are not enough for predicting aggression and violence.
Early warnings include social withdrawal, excessive feelings of isolation/being alone, excessive feelings of rejection, being a victim of violence, feelings of being picked on/persecuted, low interest in school and poor academic performance, expressions of violence in writing or drawing, uncontrolled anger, patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying behaviors, history of discipline problems, past history of violent/aggressive behavior, intolerance of differences and being prejudiced, drug and alcohol use, gang affiliation, inappropriate access to/use or possession of/fire arms, and serious threats of violence.
There are also imminent warnings signs which require immediate response. These can be a series of overt, serious, and hostile behaviors or threats targeting peers, staff, or others. They are evident to more than one staffer or the student's family. They include severe physical fights with peers or family members, severe destruction of property, severe rage for seemingly minor reasons, detailed threats of violence, possession and/or use of weapons, and acts of self-harm or threats of suicide.
When dealing with imminent threats, safety is first and foremost. Immediate action must be taken by school staff and potentially law enforcement, especially when the student has a detailed plan for violence (and especially if they have a history of aggression or threats to carry it out), or if the child is carrying a weapon and threatens to use it. Parents should also be promptly informed and communities also have the responsibility to seek assistance from appropriate agencies, such as child and family services and community mental health. Responses should be consistent with violence prevention and response plans along with school board policies.
In the event of an incident, schools must recognize the emotional effects upon students and staff, which may have long-term consequences for the individuals, depending upon the severity of the incident.
It is important to re-create emotional security for children who may have witnessed and/or heard about a violent incident. Staff, too, may be affected. A specific psychological disorder, called "post¬traumatic stress disorder," can frequently appear as a response to witnessing such events. Signs of this disorder may include reliving the event, distress upon recollection of the event, feelings of detachment or estrangement, an exaggerated startle response or other responses. Counseling and mental health services should be offered to students and staff who may need assistance coping with the aftermath of such an incident. The crisis team should understand these reactions and be familiar with how individuals might respond to death and loss, including developmental considerations, religious beliefs, and cultural values. A coordinated community response should also be ensured- professionals both within the school district and within the greater community should be involved to assist individuals who are at risk for severe stress reactions.
Schools that have experienced tragedy have these response provisions: help parents understand children's reaction to violence, help teachers and other staff deal with crisis, help students and faculty adjust afterward, help victims and family members of victims reenter the school environment, and help students and teachers address the return of a previously removed student to the school community.
School personnel, especially emergency response team members, should evaluate their emergency response plan in light of any such incidents. Gaps in safety measures and coordination of response should be examined. Schools must report such events to the commissioner under the Uniform Violent Incident Reporting clause of the SAVE legislation.
Unit 6 Edit
Employees who report violence incidents are protected from discipline and civil liability for doing so. The SAVE legislation made teacher assault a Class D Felony, punishable by a one to three year prison sentence.
Discipline of teachers includes decertification, suspension, continuing education, limiting certification, and monetary fines. Teachers may no longer silently resign than disclose abuse allegations; any superintendent allowing this may be charged with a Class E Felony, punishable by up to four years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine. Individuals who in good faith comply with the reporting requirements will be entitled to immunity from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise result from such actions.
Violence prevention training must be included in Superintendent's Conference Days annually. All individuals seeking certification must complete a two-hour course in violence prevention. The training must be addressed for current staff in the yearly professional development plan.
Unit 7 Edit
Units 5-6 assessment.
Unit 8 Edit
Unit 9 Edit