Heber Springs School District takes student safety seriously. The most effective thing we can do is create a culture of reporting. This means parents, students, staff, law-enforcement, and mental health providers all working together.
Please encourage your child to:
1.Report any threats to any school personnel that they feel comfortable.
2.Remind students that they are not snitching, they are protecting. It may be a friend’s life they are saving.
All threats are treated seriously at Heber Springs Schools
The District will conduct a threat assessment on each report it receives. This will involve, District Administration, law enforcement, school security teams, counselors, and mental health providers.
Examples of Transient Threats:
- Non-genuine expression
- Non-enduring intent to harm
- Temporary feelings of anger
- Tactic in argument
- Intended as a joke or figure of speech
- Resolved on the scene or in office
- Ends with an apology, retraction, or clarification
Examples of Substantive Threats:
- Specific and plausible details such as a specific victim, time, place, and method
- Repeated over time or conveyed to differing individuals
- Involves planning, substantial thought, or preparatory steps
- Recruitment or involvement of accomplices
- Invitation for an audience to observe threat being carried out
- Physical evidence of intent to carry out threat (e.g. lists, drawings, written plan)
Communication to the parents:
- Understand that once the District has received a threat, all of its resources are being activated to resolve the threat and secure all students.
- An initial communication will be made as soon as practical using text, twitter, messaging, and other social media outlets.
- A follow-up to that communication will be made to make sure that the most accurate information is being given to the school community.
What can parents do to help keep students safe at school?
- Talk to your kids about safety.
- If you know of a potential threat, report it.
- Respect school rules; they are designed to keep all students safe.
- Make sure the school has your correct address and phone number.
- Communicate with school officials.
- Do not drop students off before 7:45 am
- Stay with students until they are picked up by the bus in the morning.
- Keep parent custody information current with the school.
What parents should not do.
- Do not believe every bit of information you may hear; often the wrong, most sensationalized stories are not even close to the truth. Unfortunately, some like to portray this kind of news.
- Do not try to call your child. This might actually overload communications so that emergency personnel cannot do their jobs. If students are in hiding, this might alert someone intending to do harm to your child’s location.
- Do not rush to the school expecting to get your child. In these situations the school is in lock-down. Additional people may actually hamper ambulances and emergency management personnel.
- It is possible that additional people may place students in more harm’s way.
- Last, it is important that schools systematically make sure that all students are released to their rightful guardian. Please help us make that transition smooth.
Heber Springs has a well-trained security team in place. This team is not law enforcement and the intent of the security team is prevention. They are trained to engage a potential threat until law enforcement arrives.
Programs that the School is undertaking for your child’s security:
- Staff members are trained in emergency protocols according to the school emergency plan.
- Fire drills and tornado drills are conducted multiple times in the District.
- Lockdown, evacuation drills, and training are conducted yearly.
- Active shooter drills were conducted with the security team.
- Police and school personnel train together to develop systematic ways to handle emergencies.
- Anti-bullying training is conducted with students and staff.
- School cameras are in place and monitored.
- All buildings now have a single entry point for visitors.
- Classrooms have security bolts.
- We have two School Resource Officers and ten Security Officers posted around the campus.
- We have conducted social media awareness training.
- There is software monitoring threats in the District.
For the kids,
Dr. Alan Stauffacher