Managing Risk After The Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy

Report
Presented by:
2013 CAIS Trustee/School Head Conference
Managing Risk After the Sandy Hook Tragedy
Ronald C. Wanglin, Chairman
Bolton & Company Insurance Brokers
Rick Shaw, Principal
Awareity
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
February 2, 2013
Risk Management & Governance
Begins at the Board Level
“There is no way a board can establish sufficient policies and procedures in order to
eliminate all risk and resulting law suits. But a school can manage risk to keep litigation to
a minimum. The board’s role is to ensure that the appropriate institutional and
operational policies—such as personnel, student activities and behavior, crisis
management, and financial management—are in place and that the school is following
those policies and the resulting procedures every day in a consistent, fair manner”.
“…..the best protection against a suit is an active board of trustees that exercises its
governance role with great care.”
NAIS Trustee Handbook
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 History of School Shooting Tragadies
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Texas University Clock Tower (1966)
Thurston High School (1998)
Columbine (1999)
Santee High School (2001)
West Nickel Mines Amish School (2006)
Virginia Tech (2007)
Northern Illinois University (2008)
Sandy Hook (2012)
Gabrielle Giffords (2011) – 60 incidents of mass shootings or
other catastrophic acts of violence since then
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 School responses to these events
• Increased awareness of threat exposure
• Many schools are conducting threat assessment reviews and
holding threat assessment training
• Increased security measures ranging from revised policies and
procedures to changes in physical plant to hiring guards/armed
guards
• One Texas school district certified faculty to carry weapons in the
classroom and use deadly force if necessary
• Review of insurance and risk management program and
consideration of higher liability limits
• Utilization of technology platforms to identify and manage
exposure and risk on a proactive basis
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Some Background Data
• Overall, schools are safer in all ways than they have ever been
• With the advent of media and social media coverage, awareness
of these events is greater than ever
• The proliferation and availability of automatic weapons has
increased the risk and consequences of an event
• Less than 1% of all homicides among children ages 5 to 19
occur in or around a school
• School violence, however, occurs more often in the U.S. than
other developed countries
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 What Elements Are Core to the Issue of School Safety?
• Emotion: It is hard for all of the stakeholders (families, faculty,
boards, administration, etc.) to separate their fears from what
can or cannot reasonably be done to make the school safer
• Risk Management: Currently conversations regarding effective
school risk management range from securing the school via
locked doors and controlled entrances and exits, security
cameras, electronic access controls, fences, bullet proof glass,
guards, etc.
• Note: Sandy Hook had substantive controls and the gunman
shot out the windows in order to gain access to the school
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 What Elements Are Core to the Issue of School Safety?
• Emergency Response: Most schools have already implemented
“lock down” protocols and methods for notifying police of an
active or potential shooter. Schools will want to incorporate their
response program as part of an overall “crisis management
program for the school
• Psychology: What psychological components exist to help
identify those who are potential threats? The behavior of the
individual, depression, medications that can impact mood and
behavior, unstable home environment and/or abuse, and violent
video games and TV/Movie violence have all been shown to play
an important part in school shooting, bullying and harrassment
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Developing Strategies for Addressing Violence in
Schools
• Strategies must necessarily be multifaceted
• Focus on making it more difficult to bring guns into the school
• A 1995 study revealed that for students in grades 7-12, having
access to a gun at home was associated with carrying a gun to
school
• Tighter gun control laws on a national and local level
• Identification of, and help for, students who may pose a threat
• Solutions may involve the implementation of conflict resolution
programs, bullying awareness and prevention, educating
students to teach students to deter aggression, etc.
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 FBI Findings Show That:
• School violence is not an epidemic
• There is no single profile of the violent offender
• Youth who engage in violence often have social difficulties, but
they are not always loners
• Although a common factor, revenge is not the exclusive
motivation for school shootings
• Most attackers had previously used guns and had access to
them, but access to weapons is not the most significant risk
factor
• Unusual or aberrant behaviors or interests are not the hallmark
of a student destined to become violent
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 FBI Findings Show That (cont):
• Incidents of target violence at school are rarely impulsive
• Prior to most incidents, the attackers told someone about their
ideas or plans
• Most shooting incidents were not resolved by law enforcement
• In many cases, other students were involved in some capacity
• In a number of cases, students who became school shooters
were bullied
• Prior to most incidents, most attackers engaged in behavior that
caused concern to others
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 FBI Recommendations for Addressing Threats and
Aggression Within Schools (Students)
• Distinguish between transient and substantive threats
• Transient threats are those that are made while a student is
upset but has no real intent or plan
• Substantive threats involve a more formalized plan with the
means, intent and opportunity to carry it out
• Transient threats require monitoring, while substantive threats
require immediate action
• Clinical treatment and support can be an important component in
managing transient and substantive threats
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Anonymous Reporting of Threats
• Students who are victims of threats or harassment and/or those
who are aware of students are often the best source of
information about a potential threat
• A strong anti-bullying and harassment policy can help to mitigate
the potential escalation of violence and impact school culture
• Due to concerns about retaliation or a “no snitch” culture within
the school, students who have knowledge are often afraid to
come forward with information
• Web based programs have been developed to allow for the
reporting, by name or anonymously, of potential threats or events
and can be an effective resource for early warning and detection
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 What Are We Seeing in California to Address Threat
Risk?
• The California Education Code requires schools to have a
comprehensive school safety program that includes procedures
for notifying teachers of “dangerous pupils”. The types of
offenses that teachers must be notified of include:
 Causing, attempting to cause, or making threats of physical
injury
 Unlawful possession of a firearm, knife, explosive or other
dangerous object
 Possession of controlled substances (unlawfully), alcohol or
drug paraphernalia
 Actual or attempted robbery or extortion
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 What Are We Seeing in California to Address Threat
Risk?
• Types, cont.:
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Causing or attempting to cause damage to school property
Material disruption of school activities
Actual or attempted sexual assault
Hazing or bullying
Sexual harassment
Hate Violence
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Where to Begin
• If not done already, consider having a Threat Assessment
analysis done of the school by a company that specializes in
evaluating these types of exposures. Typically, this type of
assessment will include:
 Security organization
 Charting critical area vulnerabilities and providing solutions
for the latter
 Policies, procedures and practice
 Perimeter protection and facility access control
 Employee and visitor identification issues
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Where to Begin (cont.):
• Threat Assessment (cont.):
 Electronic security systems
 Allocation and distribution of security personnel
 Security control and monitoring center and emergency
communications systems
 Terror and crime trends and service impact
 Employment procedures
 Security and awareness training
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Where to Begin (cont.):
• Incorporate solutions developed into a comprehensive crisis
management program for the school (if there isn’t one, develop it
as soon as possible)
• Establish clear policies and procedures for exploring allegations
of actual or potential violence
• The policies should include the implementation of a Threat
Assessment Team and include training across school borders so
that everyone is a stakeholder of the process
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Where to Begin (cont.):
• Policies should include:
 Evaluating and interviewing the potential offender
 Notifying and working with parents
 Interviewing other students and staff members
 Determining the level of intervention required
 Bringing in additional professionals as required (mental
health, social service, law enforcement, etc.)
 Providing follow-up observation and services
 Responding to media should the need arise (crisis
management protocols)
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Forming a Threat Assessment Team
• Lay the Foundation
 Establish goals for the team, such as:
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Prevent targeted violence
Reduce the school’s liability exposure
Break down information silos on campus
Coordinate decisions and response for student care
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Forming A Threat Assessment Team
 Identify specific objectives such as:
– Address a variety of student behavioral concerns
– Recommend improvements to relevant campus policies and
procedures
– Coordinate and share information with relevant campus groups
– Leverage pre-existing multidisciplinary relationships as a model
for the team
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Forming a Threat Assessment Team
• Create the team
 Adopt a name that conveys the team’s broad purpose
 Select five to 20 team members to ensure representation
across campus departments/operations. Include
representatives from:
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Administration
Dean of Students
Maintenance
Security
Athlectics
Transportation
Insurance Broker
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Forming a Threat Assessment Team
• The Team
 Select a team chair based on personal traits rather than
position on campus
 Consider existing team models and adopt a team structure
that will be most effective
 Conduct training to develop team expertise and
effectiveness. Formats and topics may include:
– Threat assessment specific training for team or violence
subteam
– Legal training on information sharing and other issues related
to the team’s process and procedures
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Forming a Threat Assessment Team
• The Team
 Conduct training to develop team expertise and
effectiveness. Formats and topics may include:
– Table top exercises using hypothetical scenarios
– “Lessons learned” exercise using actual cases handled by the
team
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Reporting Student Behavioral Concerns
• Identify potential reporting sources
 Consider reporting sources such as:
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Students
Faculty and Staff
Parents or other close relatives
Online acquaintances
Community members
Local agencies or service providers
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Reporting Student Behavioral Concerns
• Educate potential reporters
 Publicize the threat assessment team’s existence and
purpose
 Appoint a team member as a liaison for every campus
department and use these liaisons to reach out to
departments
 Reach out to local hospitals, mental health facilities, and the
police department
 Educate reporters on reporting methods through:
– Presentations, webpage, online training and publications
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Reporting Student Behavioral Concerns
• Create practical reporting options
 Create a climate that promotes reporting
 Develop reporting methods that are simple to use and quick
 Offer many methods for reporting information to the team
including an anonymous reporting option
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Reporting Student Behavioral Concerns
• Assess the effectiveness of education and reporting methods
 Conduct an annual audit to assess effectiveness of education
and reporting methods by:
– Maintaining reports submitted to the team
– Examining education and reporting methods used
– Evaluating the reports received and the source of each
report
– Identify and correct problems that prevent reporting.
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Assessing and Intervening with Students of Concern
• Initial Screening
 Determine whether the situation reported to the team
constitutes an emergency.
 If there is an emergency, report the matter to the local police
immediately.
 If reported to police, proceed with a full inquiry.
 Consider information about the student that is contained in
the report and is already known by any team member.
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Assessing and Intervening with Students of Concern
• Preliminary Inquiry
 Decide whether the team needs to conduct a full inquiry.
 Gather information from threat assessment team records,
student affairs, campus police and local law enforcement,
judicial affairs, academic affairs, residence life, and online
resources.
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Assessing and Intervening with Students of Concern
• Preliminary Inquiry
 Answer triage questions focused on the student’s potential to
commit violence:
 Has the student mentioned any violent thoughts or plans, including
those of suicide?
 Have there been any behaviors that cause concern for the person’s
well-being, such as behavior that is significantly disruptive to the
campus environment?
 Does the student own, or is he or she attempting to acquire,
weapons?
 If the answer to any question is yes, proceed with a full inquiry
 If the answer is no, consider other problems the student may be
facing and appropriate intervention strategies
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Assessing and Intervening with Students of Concern
• Full Inquiry
 Determine whether the student poses a threat of violence or
otherwise needs assistance.
 Gather information from preliminary inquiry sources, other
potential reporting sources, prior schools, email, or Internet
communications.
 Assess information about the student using the 11
assessment questions recommended by U.S. Secret Service
and Department of Education (see pages 19-21).
 If the team concludes that the student poses a threat or
needs assistance, select an intervention strategy
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Assessing and Intervening with Students of Concern
• Intervention
 Identify the goals for an intervention, such as reducing a
threat posed or managing a student’s concerning behavior.
 Select a strategy from the list at Appendix D by considering:
 Information gathered by the team
 Opinions from legal counsel, experts, and others familiar with
the student
 The feasibility of providing the intervention and its potential
effectiveness
 Monitor the student’s progress.
 If the intervention is not effective, select another strategy
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Sharing and Documenting Information
• Share information
 With the assistance of legal counsel, develop an
understanding of the laws related to the permissibility of
sharing student information among team members and with
other constituencies on and off campus.
 Focus particularly on state negligence laws, FERPA and its
exceptions, state and federal medical confidentiality laws,
and state privacy laws.
 Share information that serves the student’s best interest
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Sharing and Documenting Information
• Document Information
 Maintain documentation to improve team procedures and to
reduce potential liability arising out of team actions.
 Adopt consistent documentation practices that capture
enough information to demonstrate that team actions are
reasonable.
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Sharing and Documenting Information
• Document Information
 Consider documenting:
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Student name
Date of report
Incident reported
Source of the report or departments involved or both
Conclusions from any inquiry the team performed
Recommended intervention
Results of the intervention
 Review the team’s documentation procedures with legal
counsel.
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TIPS Is Multi-Award Winning Platform
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
How TIPS can help…
TIPS empower students, faculty, staff, parents, third-parties,
law enforcement, etc. to report:
▫ Suspicious Persons
▫ Emergency/Terrorism
▫ Bullying/Cyberbullying
▫ Harassment/Discrimination
▫ Weapons
▫ Threats to Harm
▫ Alcohol/Drug Abuse
▫ Suspicious Persons
▫ Safety Hazards
▫ Personal Security
▫ Workplace Violence
▫ Mental Health Concerns
▫ Sexting
▫ Student/Faculty Relationships
▫ Suicidal Ideations
▫ Ethical Concerns
▫ Fraud/Cheating
▫ Hazing
▫ Vandalism
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How TIPS can help…
 Communicate all policies, procedures and plans to all
appropriate team members and third-parties
 Communicate new and updated information, reports, etc.
 Track and document employee acknowledgements for audits
and legal due diligence
 Empower your students, employees, staff and third-parties
with tools to confidentially report incidents anytime and
anywhere.
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How TIPS can help…
 All appropriate team members are automatically notified
regarding a new incident report and members can quickly and
securely login to TIPS to review and acknowledge the Incident
Report Details.
 To more effectively connect the dots, team members can
document their actions and upload supporting documents
(images, police reports, etc.) to immediately share with other
team members.
 Action List provides a chronological audit trail of actions taken
by team members that can be reviewed and utilized for mounting
legal and compliance obligations.
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
How TIPS can help…
 Set reminders to follow up with at-risk individuals (victims,
bullies, witnesses, etc.) and their progress with mental health
reviews, suspensions, counseling, etc.
 Search current and previous incident reports to identify
individuals and incidents that may be connected and to generate
reports for Clery Act, safety reviews, audits, etc.
 Disseminate surveys to learn students, parents and staff’s
biggest concerns and feedback
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
How TIPS can help…
Meet Requirements for:
 CIPA
 OCR Dear Colleague Letters
 State Anti-Bullying Laws (Dignity for All Students Act, Seth’s
Law, etc.)
 FERPA
 SEC-501
 OSHA/Whistleblower
 Clery Act
 Student Conduct
 And many more…
A secure database to help meet needs across multiple
departments, staff, and students – saving time, money,
resources and lives
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook

Schools should review the recommendations and findings made by the Department of Education and the Secret Service in
their landmark study of school shootings “The Safe School Initiative”. The following is a link to the study, the compendium
guide on implementing a campus threat assessment program, and the FBI’s study and recommendations regarding school
shooters:
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The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the
United States, United States Secret Service and the United States Department of Education, 2002, by Robert S. Fein,
Bryan Vossekuil, William S. Pollack, Randy Borum, William Modzeleski, and Marisa Reddy
http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ssi_final_report.pdf
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Presents an in-depth and groundbreaking study by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education. Following
the attack at Columbine High School, in 1999, the Secret Service and the Department of Education initiated a study titled the
Safe School Initiative to research the thinking, planning and other pre-attack behaviors engaged in by attackers who carried
out school shootings. The findings of the Safe School Initiative support the application of a threat assessment process by
educational institutions.
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Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates,
United State Secret Service and United States Department of Education, 2002, by Robert S. Fein, Bryan Vossekuil,
William S. Pollack, Randy Borum, William Modzeleski, and Marisa Reddy
http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ssi_guide.pdf
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A companion guide to the final report of the Safe School Initiative. It gives practical guidance on how to create a
safe school climate and implement a threat assessment process at K-12 schools.
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Managing Risk After Sandy Hook

Prior Knowledge of Potential School-Based Violence: Information Students Learn May Prevent a Targeted Attack,
United States Secret Services and United States Department of Education, May 2008, by William S. Pollack,
William Modzeleski, and Georgeann Rooney http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/bystander_study.pdf
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This study serves as a follow-up to the Safe School Initiative (SSI). One of the most significant findings from the
SSI is that prior to most school attacks, other children knew what was going to happen. This pilot study
interviewed friends, classmates, siblings and others in whom school shooters confided their ideas and plans prior
to their incidents. Other interviews included students who came forward with information regarding a planned
school based attack, and are believed to have prevented an attack from happening. The goal of the study was to
provide information to school administrators and educators regarding possible barriers that may prevent children
who have information about a potential incident from reporting that information to a responsible adult.

The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation,
August 2000, by Mary Ellen O’Toole. http://www.fbi.gov/publications/school/school2.pdf
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A monograph that uses the principals developed by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent
Crime (NCAVC), its 1999 symposium on school shootings, and a review of school shooting cases to
present a model threat assessment process for K-12 schools.
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
Managing Risk After Sandy Hook
 Additional Resources
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Insurance carriers
Local law enforcement
Third party consulting firms
U.S. Department of Education http://www.ed.gov
NAIS http://www.nais.org/
NASP http://www.nasponline.org (tips for supporting children and youth
after a crisis)
“School Safety and Security Toolkit” (National Crime Prevention Council)
“Steps for Developing a School Emergency Plan” (U.S. Department of
Education)
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.
Thank you for your time.
Questions?
Ronald C. Wanglin, CIC, CSRM
Chairman
rwanglin@boltonco.com
www.boltonco.com
Direct: 626-535-1420
Rick Shaw, Principal
info@awareity.com
www.awareity.com
Direct: 402.730.0090
© 2013 Bolton & Company. All rights reserved.

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