School districts share how they identify and assist students who may pose a risk to others

Austin and Hutto principals talk about what they look out for and how they help students who may need help or be a risk to others.

AUSTIN, Texas — Bad grades, truancy and bullying were all problems the Robb Elementary School shooter may face, according to the Texas House Robb Elementary School Shooting Committee.

KVUE sat down with some local districts to see how they identify students who may pose a risk to themselves or others. staff at austin and Hutto ISDs shared what warning signs there might be.

“We are evaluating when students can withdraw or not attend their groups,” said Shakira Hamilton-Adams, AISD High School Secondary Counseling Coordinator.

dr Robert Sormani, Assistant Superintendent for Education and Innovation at Hutto ISD, said speaking violence could be another sign.

“School shooters, sometimes they fantasize about violence, they talk to their friends about committing violent acts,” Sormani said.

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Hamilton-Adams said they then bring children into the counselor’s office.

“We don’t offer therapy to the student, we see what the needs are. And we’re looking to see if there are other resources available,” Hamilton-Adams said.

At Hutto ISD they can provide some level of therapy to the student.

“We are up to seven licensed professional counselors who are licensed to deliver therapy,” Sormani said.

In both counties, parent consent is required for all therapy services or referrals. At Hutto ISD they offer therapies through licensed professional consultants. Licensed mental health professionals at AISD can provide short-term counseling.

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“We cannot get anyone to take us to the request to receive services, but we do inform,” Hamilton-Adams said.

It is therefore up to the parents whether they accept the help for their child. In some cases, when a parent is negligent, child protection services can be called in. Hamilton-Adams said if a student poses a threat to other people, they can choose to involve the police.

These checkpoints are ways districts choose to take a pre-emptive approach to potential violence. However, both look after students in need of help and do not necessarily pose a danger to other students.

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Laura Coffey

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