The School Threat Assessment Coalition of Kenosha held a press conference today to announce its work in establishing a systematic approach to violence prevention.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul joined local leaders in announcing a strategy that is intended to quickly intervene with serious threats in an effort to prevent them from being carried out.
“The kind of work being done by the School Threat Assessment Coalition of Kenosha can help stop targeted violence from happening,” Kaul said. “Thank you to the members of this multidisciplinary coalition for helping to keep kids in Kenosha safe.”
The coalition’s strategy will be accomplished by encouraging a communitywide use of Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG), a research-based threat assessment tool. An integral component is to align everyone involved, so the same assessment, principles and language are applied by all organizations involved. Additionally, the coalition seeks to enhance good decision making by sharing vital information where legally allowable.
CSTAG promotes the utilization of consequences, where appropriate, to the fullest extent of the law. When legal consequences are not appropriate, it calls for school and community resources to be utilized to alleviate circumstances that could lead to future acts of violence.
Kenosha Unified School District Chief of School Leadership Bill Haithcock said, “The goal is to keep schools safe and prevent the likelihood of future violence by helping potential offenders overcome the underlying sources of anger, hopelessness, or despair through ongoing interventions and support services.”
Community members are encouraged to speak up and speak out when they see or hear something of concern. Reports can be made to law enforcement, schools or via the SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT reporting app at speakup.widoj.gov and tip form at p3campus.com/tipform.aspx?ID=5150.
“Kenosha County is a frontrunner in this work designed to align the community in decision making and supports related to school violence,” said Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley. “Our overarching goal is aligning community partners in an effort to keep our students and educators safe throughout Kenosha County.”
Today’s news conference was held at the Kenosha Unified School District Educational Support Center, 3600 52nd St. in Kenosha.
Among the speakers was Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman, who pledged the county’s support for the effort. In her former role as a state representative, Kerkman supported school safety initiatives including the creation of the Office of School Safety and chaired the Joint Legislative Audit Committee when it oversaw an audit of school safety grants and plans across the state.
“I commend all of the partners from the different agencies and organizations across the county for coming together to address the issue of school violence,” Kerkman said. “I’m hopeful that by working collaboratively, we can implement effective strategies to promote safety in our schools.”
A list of coalition partners appears below.
School Threat Assessment Coalition of Kenosha member organizations:
- Community Impact Programs, Inc.
- Kenosha County District Attorney's Office
- Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services
- Kenosha Human Development Services
- Kenosha Police Department
- Kenosha County Sheriff's Department
- Kenosha Unified School District
- Pleasant Prairie Police Department
- Twin Lakes Police Department
- Juvenile Court Intake
- Westosha Central High School
- Wilmot High School
Additional participating organizations include:
- Bristol School District #1
- Paris Consolidated School
- Salem School District
- Silver Lake-Salem Joint #1 School District (Riverview School)
- Shoreland Lutheran High School
- Twin Lakes #4 School District (Lakewood School)
- Wheatland J1 School District
A video feed of the news conference is available at youtu.be/SG59VPHm2-E.