2 min read

Your School Received an Online Threat. Now What? Five Steps to Keep Your School Community Safe

Every school’s first priority is keeping staff and students safe. But in a world where safety threats are becoming more frequent, schools must constantly balance meaningful and thorough investigations with minimizing disruptions to learning. 

If your school receives a threat, here are the first steps to take: 

1. Assess the Threat:

  • Always take the threat seriously, even if it appears to be a hoax. Be careful not to dismiss it without proper evaluation, as this can have serious consequences. 

  • Preserve the email or post, along with any other associated evidence, such as headers and sender information. It may be crucial for law enforcement.

2. Contact Law Enforcement: 

  • Immediately notify your local law enforcement agency, providing them with all available information regarding the threat, including the content of the threat, any relevant IP addresses, and timestamps. Law enforcement will assess the threat's credibility and initiate an investigation to identify the source.

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  • Follow the guidance and instructions provided by law enforcement, which may include security measures, such as lockdowns or evacuations, to ensure the safety of students and staff.

3. Inform School Officials:

  • Once you've alerted the authorities, it's essential to inform other key members of your school's leadership team. This might include your safety committee, security team, and board members. 

4. Communicate with Stakeholders:

  • Inform the school community, including students, parents, and staff, about the situation without causing unnecessary panic. Use a clear and concise message to communicate that a threat has been received, law enforcement is involved, and appropriate safety measures are being taken. If the threat has been deemed not credible by law enforcement, be sure to include that in your message. 

  • Reiterate the importance of staying vigilant and following any instructions or safety protocols provided by the school or law enforcement.

  • Reinforce the importance of safety at the school and remind your stakeholders what measures are currently in place to ensure the ongoing safety of all individuals on campus. 

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5. Work Closely with Law Enforcement:

  • After the initial steps, work closely with law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the source of the threat. 

  • Keep an eye on social media platforms for any potential follow-up threats or discussions related to the incident. It's essential to stay informed and prepared for any further developments. 

Responding to anonymous online threats is a challenging task that requires a swift, coordinated, and measured response. By following these steps and relying on established protocols, school leaders can minimize the impact of such threats on their school community. 

 

At Joffe Emergency Services, we want to help you make sure that your school is always prepared. To learn more about the programs we offer, schedule a call today.

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