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School officials seek ways to deal with threats

BROADABLIN — The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District Board of Education tackled the nationwide concern of violence in public settings, including schools, and officials discussed options available to schools to ensure student safety and security Monday evening.

The district discussed a new way to detect and gauge threats made within the school. The behavioral threat assessment, a possible way to asses threats, would be used to distinguish between serious and less serious threats in a preventative, systematic way, officials said. The goal is to promote communication and identify risks between students and faculty.

Currently, this assessment is not a mandated process in New York state.

“There are certain things that are not mandated in our state and some that are –we’re working through all that,” said Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson. “Every single day we are working with our legal team to make sure that we understand everything to the best that we can.”

Director of Operations and Safety Mike Carney explained the assessment process. He said when a threat occurs, a team will be notified and contact will be made with both parties involved with the threat. In doing so, the team will be able to guage the level of concern and implement interventions to students who pose a threat of targeted violence either to themselves or others.

During this process, the assessment team opens communication, as well as reviews the history of the student who made the threat. Each assessment would be a case-by-case situation.

“We’re not lawyers, we’re not civil right activists, we’re educators working through some very complicated processes, all with the goal of protecting our students and the adults in our school facilities,” Tomlinson said.

Also at the meeting, Tomlinson reminded the board of a safety and security forum. He said the goal is to be transparent about the efforts being made by the board in the buildings and with districtwide changes.

“We will be making significant changes in our protocol that I believe is so important that we want to have an opportunity for parents to be able to ask questions and get honest responses as we move forward,” Tomlinson said.

The public forum is set at the school auditorium for Monday, Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Editor’s note: See page A4 for related story on school safety.

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