Onondaga County is paying for teacher and staff training aimed at preventing violence in schools | #schoolsaftey

Teams within every school district in Onondaga County will get two days of training later this year that is designed to prevent violence in schools, according to county officials.

The county has contracted with a national consultant to provide training in the Salem-Keizer Cascade Threat Assessment System, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced today. He made the announcement along with Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

The training aims to improve safety at schools, focusing on violence prevention, mitigation, and response, according to McMahon. The system aims to keep students and staff safe while also helping them feel safe, which allows them to concentrate on learning.

The county is picking up the $24,000 tab for the program. It’s free to school districts, McMahon said. The training will take place in December.

All districts have said they will take part in the training, the county executive said.

The threat assessment program is used in thousands of schools nationally, said James W. Mikesell, a forensic psychologist who is working on the program with the county and schools.

The goal is to provide training to a multi-disciplinary team of people within schools to offer a response to youth who pose a serious threat to commit violence to others. This violence prevention model tries to identify students who may pose a real threat and to intervene early, avoiding arrest or expulsion.

Using one system among districts will offer consistency and reliability, McMahon said.

Fitzpatrick said this system will help identify those students are aren’t just acting foolishly but “who may be hellbent on doing something,” Fitzpatrick said.

Elizabeth Doran covers education, suburban government and development, breaking news and more. Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact her anytime 315-470-3012 or email [email protected]

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