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2019 Report: Threat assessment teams in schools could help prevent mass school shootings

A report created in 2019 to make schools safer in Westchester could help prevent mass school shootings.

Nadia Galindo

May 25, 2022, 9:18 PM

Updated 757 days ago

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A report created in 2019 to make schools safer in Westchester could help prevent mass school shootings. 

The Creating Safer School's report is the result of the Westchester County School Safety Commission formed during the 2018-2019 school year and came at a time when calls for action to stop school shootings were at an all time high.

The commission, composed of educators, mental health experts and law enforcement produced four major recommendations - one of them being threat prevention.

"When a student has a concern about their friend, a teacher has a concern, a parent is all of this coming to one place?" said Brandon Cruz, supervisor of School Safety & Facilities at Southern Westchester BOCES.

Cruz sat on this commission and says the recommendation to implement 'Threat Assessment Teams' at schools is one of the most useful in prevention.

"Although it's not something that is mandated in New York State schools that is something we have been trying to push," he said.
These teams are composed of:
-School administrator
-Mental Health Professional
-and a member of local law enforcement.

The teams:
-Identify students at risk of harming themselves or others
-Determine if a situation presents an imminent threat
-Follow up on next steps that are needed
Districts like White Plains Public Schools already have threat assessment teams.
Southern Westchester BOCES provides training to districts to create or enhance teams.


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