Thursday, February 18, 2010

Precautions when Presenting Bad News vice Reacting to threatening situations

Below is a situation where a teacher was required to make a Mandated Report to Child Protective Services (CPS) in which the teacher and the administration did not think through or "wargame" any of the negative consequences such as parental threats or a violent reaction. 

Mandated Reporting from Caroline, Special Education Teacher: Newark, New Jersey

"For valid reasons, I reported one of my students" families to Child Protective Services (CPS), The family was known to lie, prone to violence and was known to have guns and knives at home. After the child was removed, the family burst into my school building yelling "Where's Caroline? We're gonna kill her!" My principal dialed 911 and all was okay. What I would do differently is make sure that the prinicipal and the superintendent and all relevant personnel were aware of the situation before hand that safety precautions were in place."

Final Comment: It is important to plan for and prepare for how people (students, parents, employees, staff, spectators, etc. ) may react to receiving bad news. In the ideal world, we all hope for the best in people, but real world we live in requires practical measures we must take to ensure the school environment remains a safe and controlled environment.


darwinlaughs said...

Looks good. Definitely food for thought. This discussion comes up quite a bit between myself and a few forward thinking co-workers. "It will never happen here" is the unfortunate prevailing attitude at many schools I'm afraid. Talk soon.

Bob Killackey said...

The goal is preparedness not paranoia. In regards to readiness I firmly believe you "make your luck".