Mental Health Threat Assessment
Dear Parents & Guardians,
In our current environment, with the increase in school violence and security issues, it is important that administrators, teachers, parents, and students alike understand the severity of their actions, words, and decisions and how they affect the well-being of our students and the overall school environment. Together, we must continue to address all relevant issues, including bullying; the impact of social media on schools; violence and weapons in schools; the mental health of our students; and how these new Florida-specific laws, such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act of 2018, will affect how our school operates on a daily basis.
The school has recently enhanced safety and security measures across our campus to help with potential physical threats, but we also realize that those threats are often tied to the mental well-being of our students. We need you to be aware as parents and guardians of new Florida laws that were implemented at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Students and parents should understand that any threat made by a student to themselves, another student, or the school will be taken seriously. Significant and severe threats will include a call to law enforcement. We also have new threat assessment procedures in place which include student, parent, and staff interviews as well as record reviews. Threat assessment interviews will be led by the school psychologist. Any time a student makes a verbal or written statement that may be considered a threat, the comment will be shared with administrators and threat assessment procedures will be followed. Please know that we will continue to inform our students of these new procedures throughout the first few weeks of school. In addition, first period teachers will be providing this information to students along with acceptable phrases for students to use when they feel frustrated or angry. We do not want not to prevent or discourage students from expressing themselves, but it is important to teach our students the appropriate ways to communicate their feelings.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.