Threats of school violence disturb us all to our core. There is nothing more important than the care, safety and protection of our students and staff.
We feel it may be beneficial to share some of the practices and protocols followed by the Abington Public Schools and the Abington Police Department when faced with threats of school violence. Once reported, the Abington Public Schools and the Abington Police Department have parallel and cooperative investigations and responses.
If a student is alleged to have made a threat, the following occurs:
- When a report of a threat is received by a staff member in the school, it is immediately reported to the Abington Police Department.
- The location of the individual alleged to have made the threat is determined, they are isolated, interviewed and removed from the school.
- Individuals known to have knowledge of, or additional information, regarding the alleged threat are interviewed.
If it is determined a threat was made:
- The Police Department thoroughly investigates the access any individuals in the household have to firearms or other items that could likely pose a threat.
- The School Department initiates the appropriate social, emotional and mental health assessments for the individual who made the threat.
- Following the collection of information from all sources, including social, emotional and mental health assessments, the next steps for the individual making the threat are determined.
Each individual situation requires its own thoughtful process. The practices and protocols listed here are reflective of a minimum response; a variety of other interventions may be implemented, depending on need.
Unfortunately, threats of violence are something school communities have had to and will likely need to continue to address. We hope that you knowing how seriously we take threats and providing a description of our protocols will be helpful to you.
David Majenski, Chief of Police
Peter Schafer, Superintendent of Schools