School Business Affairs March 2019

36 MARCH 2019 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS asbointl.org LEGAL ISSUES parents; establish a crisis room for students who are particularly upset; and release students who may be dis- charged during the day to parents or other authorized individuals identi- fied on signed parental release forms. Post-Crisis Practices Generally, as soon as is reasonably practical after resolving crises, edu- cation leaders should: • Provide counseling services for students and staff who are having difficulty coping with the crisis. • Designate a staff member to work with the family of students and/or staff members who were directly affected. • Conduct meetings with staff to assess how the crises was handled. • Acknowledge first responders and others who helped. With regard to staff in particular, education leaders should: • Allow teachers to opt out of read- ing announcements or discussing the crisis with their classes if they are not comfortable doing so. • Offer teachers relief time during the day to deal with their own grief. Staff should feel free to talk with each other and counselors to process their own concerns. • Provide teachers with guidelines for dealing with crises in their classrooms. These guidelines should focus on dealing with their own feelings of sorrow and/or anger; being patient with students and colleagues; and adapting instructional methods and materi- als in a manner sensitive to stu- dent needs. Long-term Planning Important points to keep in mind when engaged in long-term plan- ning are to: • Meet with teachers and other staff to update them on how school populations are adjusting while addressing symptoms of post- traumatic stress syndrome. • Have counselors schedule large- group/classroom sessions, if needed, to discuss students’ reac- tions to crises. Sessions should also address how students at dif- ferent cognitive and affective lev- els internalize crises. • Consult with officials in neighbor- ing districts to share and evaluate their policies so that leaders can learn from one another. • Meet with their crisis teams before the opening of each school year. • Review, and update, plans annu- ally even if the process simply includes reading through and discussing existing plans. This allows leaders to take a step back and consider the effectiveness of existing plans; Moreover, board attorneys should be involved in such discussions to help to ensure that revised plans meet any recently adopted state and federal standards. Education leaders need to be mindful that while having plans in place does not guarantee that they will escape liability, the converse is that not having policies in place increases the risk of liability. Well-thought-out policies can help to reduce the risk of injuries and deaths, lessen concerns over financial liability associated with the expense of non-compliance, and most impor- tantly, help to keep faculty, staff, and students safe. Charles J. Russo is content area leader for ASBO’s Legal Aspects Committee, Joseph Panzer Chair of Education in the School of Education and Health Sci- ences (SEHS), director of SEHS’s Ph.D. program in educational leadership, and research professor of law in the School of Law at the University of Dayton, Ohio. Email: crusso1@udayton.edu David Dolph is assistant professor and chair of the Departmental Administra- tion in the SEHS at the University of Day- ton and a former superintendent. Email: ddolph1@udayton.edu. INDEX OF ADVERT I SERS American Fidelity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . inside back cover DecisionInSite. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 18 Follett . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . back cover Harris School Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 19 ROUSH CleanTech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pages 22–23 SYDA PRODUCTIONS/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

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