SDOC Safety & Security Overview
The mission of the School District of Oconee County is to partner with families to develop responsible, productive citizens who are life-long learners. To be able to meet our mission, our students and staff must be safe in our schools. It is important that our students, parents, and staff understand what we are doing in the area of school safety and what we all can do to keep our schools safe.
Please understand, SDOC does not discuss specific details about procedures or security feature specifications publicly so that this information cannot be used by someone wanting to do harm. If interested in specifics, students, staff, and parents should always feel comfortable asking a school administrator for more information on these topics.
What happens when?
A POTENTIAL THREAT is Discovered/Reported
SDOC TAKES ALL THREATS SERIOUSLY! Plans are in place to address threats reported to administration or if there is collective evidence that suggests the need for a threat assessment.
If there is AN indication that violence is imminent law enforcement is notified and CODE RED Emergency Procedures are immediately activated.
When administration is made aware of a threat, an investigation is begun. Members of the crisis response team, which includes administrators, counselors, the SRO, and others, work together to collect information, complete interviews with the students or students involved, parents, teachers, and any others who may have information about the situation. Team members will communicate with parents, outside law enforcement if necessary, as well as district administration. Using the information collected, crisis response team members will determine one of the following:
THERE IS MINIMAL/NO THREAT (transient) - meaning the threat is determined to be an expression of humor, rhetoric, anger, or frustration that can be easily resolved so there is no intent to harm; the person who made the threat retracts it or offers an explanation and/or apology that indicates no intent to harm. At this point, discipline may be assigned and an intervention/support plan will be developed.
THERE IS A POSSIBLE THREAT (substantive) - meaning a more in-depth assessment is necessary to determine the level of risk. Crisis response team members will complete more interviews with the students involved, parents of those students, and others that may have knowledge of the situation. After the collection of more information and data, the team will determine the level of risk. If the situation is determined to be a “high/imminent" risk, law enforcement will be contacted and Code Red procedures will be activated. If the situation is determined to be a “low” or “medium” risk, measures are put in place that include an intervention/support plan, referral to outside services, additional consultation with law enforcement, and discipline may be assigned.
In all situations, follow-up and monitoring plans are put in place and the case is documented in the student’s record and the SC Department of Education's Behavioral Threat Assessment Management system.
COMMUNICATION TO PARENTS & SCHOOL COMMUNITY
Communication in situations involving a possible threat must be handled in a careful manner. We understand parents and community members want to know what is going on. However, the district must balance that desire with the need to protect the integrity of the investigation, the FERPA privacy rights of student(s) involved, and the need to cooperate fully with law enforcement. When warranted, communication will be done through messenger calls, email, and social media platforms.
A Student threatens to harm themselves
SDOC has plans and procedures in place to address a situation where a student has indicated they want to harm themselves.
When there is concern that a student is considering suicide, an adult will remain with the student at all times while the following guidelines and procedures are implemented:
STUDENT HAS ACTIVELY ATTEMPTED TO HARM THEMSELVES (Immediate medical assistance needed) - A school administrator and/or the school nurse will call EMS.. Parents will be contacted as well as the school guidance counselor, school psychologist, mental health counselor, and/or a district social worker. A team of these individuals will work to develop a personal safety plan and a plan for re-entry to school when appropriate, along with providing information to parents about additional resources and referrals to outside support. Safety plans include information on monitoring and follow-up with students in the future.
STUDENT HAS ACTIVELY ATTEMPTED TO HARM THEMSELVES (NO medical assistance needed) - A school administrator will assure safety of the student. And will contact the student’s parents. If it is determined that the student is not safe at school, EMS or other safety measures will be involved. The administrator will involve the school guidance counselor, school psychologist, mental health counselor, and/or a district social worker. A team of these individuals will work to develop a personal safety plan and a plan for re-entry to school when appropriate, along with providing information to parents about additional resources and referrals to outside support. Safety plans include information on monitoring and follow-up with students in the future.
STUDENT HAS THREATENED TO HARM THEMSELVES BUT HAS NOT MADE AN ACTIVE ATTEMPT - A team of at least 2 individuals will conduct an immediate risk assessment led by an administrator, guidance counselor,, school psychologist, mental health counselor, and/or district social worker. Parents will be contacted by a school administrator. A team of these individuals will work to develop a personal safety plan along with providing information to parents about additional resources and referrals to outside support. Safety plans include information on monitoring and follow-up with students in the future.
Board Policy JLDBB-R was adopted by the SDOC Board of Trustees in 2019, with the goal of protecting the health and well-being of all students by having procedures in place to prevent, assess the risk of, intervene in, and respond to suicide.
For more information and resources to support student mental health:
After reading this information, you may think, “there are not many details or specifics given.” That is intentional. We want our parents and community to understand the general overview of our plans and processes, but it is important to keep the specifics confidential so that they remains effective. If we were to share specifics about interview protocols, we have now given someone who may intend harm to themselves or others the ability to answer questions in a way to avoid detection, thereby making our processes ineffective in identifying real threats