OSPI School Safety Tips for October

Mike Donlin | OSPI School Safety Center
Oct 01, 2020
Safety blog

When we talk about comprehensive school safety and safety planning, we consider the four main areas of threats and hazards: natural, technological, biological and human/man-made. It feels like we are experiencing all four of these threat and hazard areas at the same time right now. Here are some resources to help you work through these challenging days.

  1. National Bullying Prevention Month:  Kick off the year and make a special effort to engage your entire school community in bullying prevention and intervention this month!

    Wed. October 21 is Unity Day – Wear orange on Unity Day!

    For more bullying prevention resources, check these links:

  2. The Great Washington ShakeOutOctober 15th at 10:15 am. An earthquake drill is required by law, and the Great ShakeOut is the perfect opportunity to practice ‘drop, cover, and hold on’. Even if staff and students “drop, cover and hold on” on a different day or in a different location outside of school, that’s OK! Be sure to register.


    Here are some excellent resources to share with staff, students and families:

  3. Hazing:  HIB RCW 28A.600.477 now specifically calls out hazing within the context of HIB. Hazing is defined as any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. More information here.


  4. School Resource Officer (SRO) ProgramNot all district or school safety and security personnel are the same. Not all are SROs. SROs are commissioned law enforcement officersHB 1216 defines SROs for the state of WA, and identifies specific requirements to be met before placing SROs in schools. Visit our SRO Program page to learn more about those requirements which go into effect this current 20-21 school year.


  5. Behavioral Threat AssessmentsHB 1216 and RCW 28A.320.123 require districts to have School-Based Threat Assessment Programs and teams in place by the 20-21 school year. To assist in this work, Regional School Safety Centers have been established in the nine ESDs to provide training and technical assistance for the implementation of these programs. For more information, check the OSPI Threat Assessment page or check with your regional ESD.

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