Student Safety

 

School Safety Specialist - Lynn Bigelow
(435) 781-3100 ext. 2808

Uintah School District takes a multi-layered approach to protecting our students and staff. This includes improving the physical security of schools, providing behavioral health support for students, and putting systems in place to identify and stop potential threats.

The Uintah School District contracts with local law enforcement agencies for seven school resource officers (SROs). The SROs work closely with school staff to promote safety and security in the buildings where they are assigned. They also build relationships with students and staff to ensure that people are comfortable coming forward with information about potential threats to our schools or the larger community. These relationships have helped SROs and school administrators prevent threats from being carried out.

The district recently upgraded the video surveillance system in all its schools and buildings. The new system leverages technology like AI facial recognition software to help SROs and school administrators better monitor activity on campus. It also provides improved access controls that can immediately lock down a school should it becomes necessary. The district has also received nearly $600,000 in grant money to upgrade secure vestibules in all schools. This project is in the design phase. It is a high priority identified by both district administrators and our law enforcement partners.

In addition to the steps the district has taken to improve the physical security of our campuses, there are also steps being taken to address the behavioral health needs of our students. The district employs 11 school counselors and 10 social workers as well as other behavioral health professionals to work directly with students. They provide support for students through classroom lessons, small group sessions, and one-on-one interventions.

Unfortunately, safety concerns still arise on our campuses from time to time. All information the district receives about potential safety concerns is investigated immediately and acted upon accordingly by the district and law enforcement. The district uses specific protocols in response to potential safety concerns.

A substantial direct threat, for example would necessitate immediate action such as a lockdown or school closure. In such cases, law enforcement would be notified immediately, and parents would be notified as soon as possible. Additional procedures would be initiated to keep students and staff safe. All USD schools regularly conduct lockdown drills and other safety drills to improve emergency preparedness.

A transient threat is usually a statement made in the heat of the moment by someone who is in distress or experiencing a temporary lapse in judgement. Transient threats are threats that are made without a plan, intent, or the ability to carry out the threatened action. Transient threats may require significant action until the nature of the threat is fully understood through investigation. In many cases, transient threats can be investigated and assessed quickly with little disruption to the school day.

Unsubstantiated threats are reports of a threat that typically originate from a miscommunication, a misunderstanding, or in some cases, the deliberate generation and spreading of rumors. The district works closely with local law enforcement to trace the reports of all threats back to the origin of the communication. In the case of an unsubstantiated threat, action may be necessary until the validity of the threat is known.

Once an unsubstantiated threat is determined to be invalid, there is no significant change in the level of risk for student safety and the school day should proceed with as little disruption as possible. When unsubstantiated threats become public, the school or school district will notify parents and the community as soon as possible to reduce concerns.

Students who engage in behavior that threatens others are subject to the district’s Safe Schools policy (Policy 007.0225). During the Safe Schools process, a multi-disciplinary team of district personnel and individuals from outside agencies identify appropriate consequences and interventions for the student. Law enforcement may also conduct a separate investigation and a student may be referred to juvenile court. Federal privacy laws prevent the district from publicly discussing the outcome of a Safe Schools hearing or the specifics of student discipline.

These are some of the ways the district keeps students and staff safe. We encourage all students, staff, parents, and community members to report school-related safety concerns of any kind to a teacher, school administrator, law enforcement officer or to the district office as soon as possible.

Students can also use the SafeUT app to report safety concerns or connect with a crisis counselor 24/7/365. With the SafeUT app, help is immediate and confidential, and is as easy as reaching for your phone and sending that first text.

We also encourage people to stop the spread of misinformation or rumors about possible threats because it can interfere with police and school investigations and may cause panic and alarm where none is warranted.

School Social Workers/SafeUT App

Utah State Fire Marshal - School Inspection Form
Find out what inspectors are looking for when they come to your school! Click below
http://firemarshal.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2015/02/School-Inspection-Form.pdf

Homeland Security - General Information
This page features comprehensive collection of links on Homeland Security as well as links and info relating to global security issues.
https://www.dhs.gov/

Ready Kids - Resource for family preparedness
Hey kids, check this out! You and your family can learn what to do in emergency situations. This is a fun, interactive website!
http://www.ready.gov/kids

Utah Department of Public Safety - General Information
This page features comprehensive collection of links and services that the State of Utah offers.
http://www.publicsafety.utah.gov

Firearm Safety in the Public Schools - Uintah School District may allow volunteers who have been certified by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification to teach firearm safety on public school property consistent with district policy and direction. A list of local certified firearms instructors is available through the Uintah School District Student Services Department. Volunteers shall provide documentation of required training to the Student Services Director prior to the advertisement or notice of available training. Certified firearm instructors will be required to complete a background check through Uintah School District and have the background check reviewed by the Student Services Director prior to instructing the public.

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NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION

No district employee or student shall be subjected to discrimination in employment or any district program or activity on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The district is committed to providing equal access and equal opportunity in its programs, services and employment including its policies, complaint processes, program accessibility, district facility use, accommodations and other Equal Employment Opportunity matters. The district also provides equal access to district facilities for all youth groups. The following persons have been designated as Title IX coordinators to handle inquires and complaints regarding unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation: Dr. Mistalyn Leis, Human Resources Director (435) 781-3100 and/or Dr. Dean Wilson, Student Services Director (435) 781-3100. You may also contact the Office for Civil Rights, Denver, CO, at (303) 844-5695.