by Joseph Back
The Stanley-Boyd School District has a plan for threats aimed at the district and its students.
Listed as “emergency response plan” under administrative rules on the school website, the plan isn’t hyperlinked, in large part for safety.
“We don’t want people to know what our plan is,” district superintendent Jeff Koenig said of internet access and the potential for someone with ill intentions accessing the plan to see what would be faced. One thing is certain: if anyone made it in, they would face resistance— not as a conditional statement, but an imperative.
As to the reports of a threat at Stanley-Boyd last week, it turns out it related to intradistrict student disciplinary matters. A student was called to the office for questioning, later posted their frustrations to social media, and things spiraled from there. With a lack of real information on the public end, rumors filled the gap. “It wasn’t a threat,” Koenig said of last week’s scare. “It was a rumor of a threat.”
Student disciplinary matters are protected on grounds of privacy.
As to the school district’s preparedness should the worst happen, Koenig said that the Secret Service stepped in back in 2018 to offer definitive guid ance statewide and that district staff go through yearly threat assessment training with the State Department of Justice.
The first step in threat as sessment, is to observe a threat and determine if it is serious. Should it clear the first bar, the district then asks if the individual making the threat has the means and what their motive would be. And after that?
“Then it becomes a police investigation with our help,” Koenig said. As to the local police department, Koenig had high praise.
“The Stanley Police Department is phenomenal to work with,” he said. “We have a great relationship.” The district also met with Chief Louis Eslinger at Boyd Koenig said, prior to Eslinger’s retirement and the taking over of police duties by Stanley in the Friendly Town.
Returning to events from 2018 and the state, meanwhile, Koenig said that a grant from that time required schools to go through threat assessment training. That training in turn is called ALICE, an acronym standing for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. In the end, however, nothing can guarantee 100 percent safety.
“We do the best we can to make it as safe as possible for everyone,” Koenig said, with the partnership of parents and students in informing the district of threats an important key to ensure safe learning for all.