Following the shooting at a Michigan high school last week that killed four students, Wisconsin School Safety authorities are advocating for improved communication when it comes to detecting and alerting officials to potential red flags. In 2018, the Wisconsin Department of Justice established the Office of School Safety. Adults and children alike, according to Director Kristen Devitt, should report changes in behaviour that suggest someone in need of assistance.
Not that a student has made a threat, but that their behaviour indicates that they are having difficulties, and we want to get them the resources they need to help them. Without resorting to harsh measures, get them back to where they need to be. Withdrawal from family and friends, abruptly quitting teams or activities, and chronic absenteeism, according to Devitt, are all warning flags.
He said one of the issues he’s had since the Oxford massacre is why guidance counsellors didn’t inform school officials about a frightening image drawn by the alleged gunman, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley. In a statement sent over the weekend, Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Tim Throne stated that counsellors met with Crumbley on the day of the shooting but chose not to send him to an empty house because the teen’s parents refused to take him home and instead went to work.