Safe Schools Division
About Safe Schools
Dr. Nancy Kelley
Safe Schools Director
The Collierville School District strives to establish and maintain both physically and psychologically safe, orderly, and secure work and learning environments for all students and employees. Safe Schools are defined as schools and school-related activities where students and staff feel safe from threats and hazards that have the potential to impact student learning or participation in extra-curricular events.
Some of the areas addressed in Safe Schools include the following:
Bullying, Harassment, and Title IX
Grief and Loss Resources
Counseling and Mental Health Services
Each school day, across the nation our schoolhouses are entrusted to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students. Using lessons learned from past school emergency situations, school officials and first responders implement safety measures and Emergency Operations Plans. By having plans in place to keep students and staff safe, schools play a key role in the prevention, response, and recovery of emergency situations. Although they are not traditional first responders, school staff must respond immediately when a school-based emergency occurs by providing timely decisions and working with community partners to provide a cohesive, coordinated response.
The safety and security of all Collierville Schools students and staff is our highest priority. In accordance with Tennessee state law and Collierville Schools policy, all school staff receive training in a variety of emergency procedures and scenarios each year. Additionally, both students and school personnel practice safety drills throughout the year to promote and encourage preparedness in the event of an emergency situation. Both the District and each school site has an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that adheres to Tennessee and FEMA guidelines: Prevention, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. All EOP plans are reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
School Safety Mission Statement
The Collierville Schools District is committed to creating safe, secure, and respectful learning environments where all community members work together to promote both the physical and psychological safety of students and staff.
Physical safety includes measures such as preparedness planning, visitor check-in and identification badges, video surveillance, and practice drills to prepare for a host of potential incidents. District and school emergency operation plans are aligned with the recommendations from state guidelines, the office of Homeland Security, and local emergency responders.
Psychological safety provides for the social-emotional well-being of students and works to create positive school climates through measures such as bullying prevention, mental health awareness, threat assessment, restorative practices, and early identification and intervention for at-risk students.
An emergency is a sudden, unexpected, or potentially dangerous situation that requires immediate action. The response to any situation depends on the possible impact it may have on the people or facilities involved.
When parents/guardians learn of a situation at a school, their first reaction may be to rush to the site to pick up their child. We understand that reaction, however, when numerous parents arrive at the same time, growing demands on access to the school and students can negatively impact both the ingress or response from law enforcement and supporting agencies.
Collierville Schools will communicate as frequently as possible with parents/guardians to keep them informed during an emergency situation. Here are some tips for caregivers when an emergency occurs on or near a Collierville Schools campus.
- Monitor your mobile device for Blackboard connect messages.
- Check the Collierville Schools district website and social media for updated information.
- In case of an evacuation to a second location, wait for communication from the school or district to which location your child’s campus will evacuate.
- cellular network usage at a minimum for a clear pathway to emergency agencies
If you have questions about emergency procedures in our schools, please contact your school Principal or the District Director of Safety, Dr. Nancy Kelley, firstname.lastname@example.org
To report information regarding threats, rumors, criminal activity, etc. please use our STOPit program. https://4.files.edl.io/2fc4/09/19/18/141846-aea74333-f25d-41fd-ba9d-728fe1210c89.pdf
Bullying, Harassment, and Title IX
Bullying and Harassment
The Collierville Board of Education has determined that a safe, civil, and supportive environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. In order to maintain that environment, acts of bullying, cyber-bullying, discrimination, harassment, hazing or any other victimization of students, based on any actual or perceived traits or characteristics, are prohibited.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.
Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX prohibits several types of sex-based harassment such as verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Please refer to Collierville Schools Policy for Student Discrimination, Harassment,
Bullying, Cyber-bullying and Intimidation (6.304) http://images.pcmac.org/Uploads/TennesseeSBA/TennesseeSBA/Departments/DocumentsCategories/Documents/6304_21.pdf
Other resources for bullying:
If you have any questions or concerns with Bullying, Harassment, or Title IX, please contact the District Director of State Bullying Compliance and Title IX: Dr. Nancy Kelley
Grief and Loss Resources
Grief and Loss
Grief is a universal experience, as it is a normal and natural response to a loss or change of any kind. The loss may be the death of a caregiver, a friend, other family member, or a family pet. Additionally, a life change may occur due to the experience of a natural disaster, loss of a home, moving into a new area, a family event such as a divorce or new marriage, or even the challenges related to a new diagnosis of a physical illness or disability.
Grief may not feel natural, in part, because we cannot necessarily control our emotions or other responses. There are many theories and models of grief that provide helpful frameworks for those going through the grief process. However, grief work is a unique experience that each person navigates in a different way.
Supporting Grieving Youth
Don't put a time limit on the process of grieving.
Listening or sitting with someone is enough sometimes- you don’t have to talk.
Make opportunities to share memories of the loss (person who has died): draw, paint, make a collage, write stories, poems, etc.
Acknowledge the person's pain and distress whatever the loss - large or small.
Reassure the person that grief is a normal response to loss and there is no wrong or right way to grieve.
Provide a safe space; have a regular routine.
Give honest, adequate and appropriate information relative to the person’s age and understanding.
Acknowledge feelings and give support when the child is overwhelmed by feelings.
Be aware of the special or unique circumstances of the loss.
Be aware of your own grief and/or feeling of helplessness.
A Death Within the School Community
A death can affect a school community at various levels. Those affected directly or indirectly may include an individual student, teachers, other school staff, a class or student community and families. The experience of the death and associated grief will affect people in different ways.
Death by suicide will affect each individual and community differently. Some people may appear obviously affected while others may not. Regardless of those directly affected, the suicide death of a student, teacher or family member will have an impact on the community as a whole.
Staff and families within the school community will each have unique responses, which will vary according to such factors as age, level of understanding, the person's relationship to the person who has died, as well as previous experiences of grief and bereavement.
Little Tree by Julie Bourla
A Quilt for Elizabeth by B. Tiffault
Jasper’s Day by Marjorie Blain Parker
Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton
The Happy Funeral by E. Bunting
I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas
Emily’s Sadhappy Season by S. Lowden-Golightly
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, Judith Viorst
Mustard by C. Graeber
A Taste of Blackberries by D. B. Smith
Other Resources for Parents/Guardians:
1520 W Poplar Avenue
Collierville, TN 38017
Services include grief counseling, grief support groups and grief camp programs for children, teens and adults. Bereavement services are free of charge and are made possible through individual donations and grants funded by the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, The Kemmons Wilson Family, and various organizations and individuals.
Counseling and Mental Health Services
Counseling and Mental Health Services
School Counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. School Counselors don’t work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success. School Counselors work in three domains: Academics, Personal/Social, and Post Secondary/Career
Each Collierville School is staffed with professional school counselors who can provide the following services, as based on both the Tennessee Model for School Counseling and the American School Counselor Association:
- Individual and group counseling
- Developmental group lessons
- Student advocacy
- Consultation with teachers, administrators, school support personnel, parents and business/community agencies
- Post secondary opportunities
- Parent training and educational sessions
- School staff development
All school counselors in Collierville Schools are professionals, have a master's degree or higher in school counseling, meet the state certification/licensure standards, and uphold ethical and professional standards of the American School Counseling Association. In addition, school counselors implement prevention programs for mental health and can aid families in locating other helpful resources.
Suicide Prevention: http://tspn.org
Child Abuse : https://www.tn.gov/dcs/program-areas/child-safety.html
Threat assessment is a behavioral approach to violence prevention that focuses on threats and other forms of student conflict before they escalate into violent behavior. Threat assessment teams use a problem-solving approach to evaluate the risk of violence posed by someone and provide interventions and resolutions to the issues that underlie the threatening behavior. Threat assessment is recommended by the FBI, US Secret Service, and the Department of Education, and supported through law by the state of Tennessee.
The Threat Assessment process involves identifying students who either demonstrate behaviors of concern or who have made threats to commit a violent act. Once identified, school level teams with the support of our district team will determine the seriousness of the threat and develop intervention plans that not only protect potential targets but also provide resources and supports that address the underlying problem or conflict that stimulated the threatening behavior.
It is important to remember that the likelihood of a student carrying out a threat of violence is very low. In most instances, threatening remarks are a sign that a student is frustrated, angry, or in need of help. The ultimate goal of the threat assessment process is to keep schools safe and to help potential offenders.
If you or your child is aware of any potential threatening situation, it is important to contact the school principal or a member of the administrative team.
What is a threat?
A threat is any expression of an intent to harm someone. Threats may be spoken, written, or expressed in some other way, such as through a behavior or gestures. Threats may be direct, indirect, vague, or implied.
Who is on the Threat Assessment Team?
The school level threat assessment team includes a School Administrator, School Counselor, and additional members as needed with support from our district staff. Each member has a role in the assessment process and in the follow up for each student.
What happens during a Threat Assessment?
1. Notification of a threat
Anyone with concerns should notify the school administrator or law enforcement about the nature of the concerns. All members of the community have a responsibility to share concerns for the safety and well-being of the community.
2. Information gathering from the Threat Assessment Team (Assessment)
Team members will gather information about the situation, student of concern, and will consider other data resources in the schoolhouse.
3. Analysis and Classification of the Threat
Team members will analyze all information and determine if the threat is credible or noncredible.
4. Response and Management to the Threat
If the team believes the person poses a threat, then the team will develop and implement a plan to respond to the threat and manage and reduce the risk. It will also include a plan of support for the student of concern and any potential target.
Does Collierville Schools have a policy?
Threat Assessment Team 3.204
Collierville Schools strives to provide for the safety of students, staff and visitors every day on our nine campus locations. A comprehensive safety program addresses prevention, intervention, student assistance, preparedness, emergency response and building security. In order to provide an anonymous reporting system for all stakeholders, Collierville Schools has formed a partnership with STOPit, which is accessible to students, parents, staff, and community members.
STOPit is an online and app-based system used to empower students, parents, teachers and others to anonymously report anything of concern to the school administrators. Some of which may include the following:
Collierville Schools believes the adoption of STOPit is an important step in the continued effort to provide a positive school climate and a safe learning environment for students.
With STOPit, users can submit anonymous reports containing text, photos, or video. Assigned administrators will then view and manage the incident using the DOCUMENTit system. DOCUMENTit provides investigative tools to staff, including the ability to message (anonymously) with the reporter, which will allow Collierville Schools staff to address concerns in a timely manner.
How do I get started?
To use STOPit and make an anonymous report, download the STOPit app from the App Store or Google Play onto a cellular device, ipad, or desktop computer.
Use the corresponding access code for your student’s assigned school:
Once you have downloaded the STOPit app, you will be guided to report your concern, and the information will be shared with your school’s designated administrators.
STOPit is not a crisis nor emergency response service. If you need immediate help from police, fire, or medical services, please call 911.
If you need crisis counseling, please seek out a qualified mental health clinician, as STOPit does not provide counseling services.
Is STOPit truly anonymous?
STOPit is truly anonymous. The school has no ability to identify the submitter of a report or message. At their discretion, an end user may choose to voluntarily provide identifying information in the content of their report or message.
How does the app work?
Once the STOPit mobile app is downloaded to the student’s phone, it provides them with several powerful features. The Report feature can be used to anonymously submit an incident report consisting of an image, video, and/or text to school contacts who can respond to the incident and get help to the student in need. The STOPit mobile app also allows for anonymous two-way communication between students and school administrators with STOPit Messenger.
What happens after a STOPit bullying/harassment report is made?
After a report is made in STOPit, the following steps are taken:
- The STOPit administrator (designated school administrator) will begin the investigation process.
- When necessary, interim steps will be taken to insure safety of the targeted student while the investigation is taking place.
- The student who was targeted is encouraged to report any retaliation or continued mistreatment now or in the future to an administrator, counselor, other school staff member, his/her parents, and/or the police (when necessary) immediately.
- After the investigation is complete, the administrator will contact the students and parents involved in the report to address the alleged bullying/harassment.
- If there is a founded case of bullying/harassment, appropriate consequences will be given to the student committing the bullying behavior. (Note: the school is not allowed to share consequences with the parents of the targeted student.)
- In order to provide extra support, both students involved in the incident (offender and target) may be offered counseling services by the school counselor. Other services for counseling may be available upon request.
- Staff members (specials teachers, bus drivers, etc.) will be involved on a need to know basis.
Who can use the STOPit app to make a report?
The STOPit app (and its browser-based version) may be used by Collierville Schools students and staff, parents/caregivers, and any other concerned community member to make anonymous reports.
Who receives the reports my child submits via the STOPit app?
Reports and Messenger messages will be received by designated school and district administrators.
If I have additional questions about STOPit, who should I contact?
For more information about the STOPit program, you may contact your school principal or district safety director, Dr. Nancy Kelley, email@example.com or 901-286-6398.