Plainfield Community School Corporation considers the safety of our students and staff its top priority.
This is demonstrated in many ways, but perhaps most important is the understanding that we never rest on our accomplishments. As Superintendent Olinger tells parents each year, “I will never promise you that something couldn’t happen at school - because it could.” We want our school families to know that we are constantly studying and revising and improving our processes.
Key Points of our Safety Plan
- We have a strong partnership between the Town of Plainfield, Plainfield Police Department, Plainfield Fire Territory and Plainfield Community School Corporation. This allows us to have conversations, create plans and conduct frequent drills that help us prepare for a variety of scenarios.
- Thanks to this partnership, we have four full-time School Resource Officers (SROs) in our schools, along with an off-duty officer and a retired school administrator who works as a safety aide. Over the course of the next few years, we hope to grow this program until we have an SRO in every school.
- All Plainfield schools have double buzz-in security systems.
- Schools, including classrooms, hallways and parking lots, have video cameras that are visible to school administrators and public safety officials. These cameras are also connected to the county-wide 911 Communications Center and the Plainfield Police Department, so public safety officials have immediate visual access to our schools.
- All Plainfield schools have panic buttons that connect directly to public safety officials.
- Anyone visiting a school must show proper identification and pass a basic background check.
- All staff, and volunteers who work closely with students for extended time, which could include chaperoning overnight field trips, must complete a thorough criminal history check.
- Plainfield staff have been trained in Stop The Bleed protocol, and thanks to generous donations from Hendricks Regional Health, every classroom is equipped with a Stop The Bleed kit.
- At the beginning of each school year, building principals hold a parent safety meeting to review all safety precautions and protocols.
- Students and staff take part in monthly safety drills, covering areas such as fire, weather and threats. These drills ensure that students are well-prepared for a variety of scenarios.
- In 2020 we created a video to show parents the process for reunification, should it ever be necessary. This includes the security steps involved in exchanging custody of students from the school to their family.
- In the event of a school emergency of any sort, please remember these three key points.
- Pause. Our immediate focus will be on gathering accurate information and attending to the situation. Once we have done that, we will notify school families.
- Stay home. School and public safety officials will be directing traffic so that emergency vehicles have easy access to the site.
- Do not call the school - jamming the phone lines will only make the situation more difficult. We will notify school families as soon as we have accurate information to share.
- If there is a significant crisis at one of the schools, all schools will go to lockout mode immediately, while normal instruction continues. Public safety and school officials will determine when the lockout can be lifted. This is to allow all officials time to respond appropriately to the situation at a nearby school.
Standard Response Protocol
Several years ago, we adopted the school safety program known as Standard Response Protocol (SRP). SRP uses common terms that are understood by school staff, students and public safety officials. You will find SRP posters in classrooms, hallways and public spaces throughout Plainfield schools.
SRP is based on four key words:
See something, Say something
Plainfield isn’t the sleepy community that it once was, and we see that in the faces of students each morning. Many come to school hungry, others have witnessed or been part of emotional hardships that make it hard for them to learn. We believe our schools are a safe, welcoming space where students know they will be cared for.
Unlike many school districts, we employ registered nurses (RNs) and licensed school counselors in every Plainfield school. These professionals work with teachers, administrators, and families to support the needs of students outside of the classroom.
Every school’s web page includes a link to an online form that students, parents or anyone may use to report a student concern. The concept of “See Something, Say Something” is at the root of this process, and the online form allows someone to share a concern 24/7. Topics could include self-harm, threats against students or the school, bullying or abuse. You can find the form here: Student Concerns.
PLEASE NOTE: This online form is not intended for emergency contact. If there is an immediate danger, call 911.
SELF-HARM AND SUICIDE
Plainfield Schools conducted a survey of students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members. One key takeaway? Well over half of students of all ages reported feeling sad every day.
While we realize that feeling sad does not usually lead to self-harm or suicide, it is cause for concern. There has been increased focus in recent years on the increase of suicide in the United States, and Indiana is not immune.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), suicide is the second leading cause of death throughout the United States for three age groups:
- The Indiana Department of Education shared this report in 2018:
- Indiana has the 3rd highest rate (1 in 5) of high school students in the nation who have contemplated suicide.
- Indiana tied for the 10th highest percentage (1 in 9) of high school students attempting suicide.
- Males are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than females.
- Females are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than males.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for youth ages 10-14.
- Suicide is the 2 nd leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24.
- The statistics are alarming, and death by suicide is one of Indiana’s most concerning health issues. However, there is help and hope when parents, schools, and communities join forces to address suicide as a preventable public health problem.
- A study by the United Health Foundation tracked suicide among age groups in 2018 and 2019. The national rates, per 100,000 people, were 13.1 in 2018 and 14.4 in 2019. In Indiana, those rates grew from 15.7 to 16.7 per 100,000 Hoosiers between 15 and 24.
Plainfield Schools employs two Mental Wellness Counselors to support middle and high school students. These counselors are in addition to the Guidance Counselors or Home School Advisors who work in each school.
Since 2019, Plainfield Schools began hosting parent forums using material developed by the QPR Institute. QPR stands for Question. Persuade. Refer., and is a leading model for suicide prevention.
Mental Wellness Counselors Christa Detzel (PHS) and Jennifer Bigelow (PCMS) are certified QPR facilitators, and they have now presented this training to all district teachers and administrators.
While QPR is not a form of counseling or treatment, it does offer hope through positive action, and equips individuals to recognize the warning signs, clues and suicidal communications of people in trouble.
By having a better understanding of suicide in general, and educating staff and the community on the hope that QPR offers, we are able to support students who are struggling with thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
Question. Persuade. Refer. ASK A QUESTION, SAVE A LIFE.
Warning signs of suicide:
- Suicide threats
- Previous suicide attempts
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Statements revealing a desire to die
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Prolonged depression
- Making final arrangements
- Giving away prized possessions
- Purchasing a gun or stockpiling pills
In Crisis? Text 741741
To learn more about QPR, visit their website at www.qprinstitute.com
The State of Indiana has established laws regarding bullying in schools, and Plainfield’s School Board adopted a policy reflecting those laws. You may read that policy here: PCSC Board Policy J-49.
As written in state law and stated in the policy, bullying is defined as
- Aggressive behaviors that involve unwanted negative actions that are repeated over time and involve an imbalance of power.
- As defined by Indiana Code 20-33-8-.2, bullying means overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner (including digitally or electronically), physical acts committed, aggression, or any other behaviors, that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student and create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment that:
- Places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to the targeted student’s person or property;
- Has a substantially detrimental effect on the targeted student’s physical or mental health;
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, and privileges provided by the school.
- This term may not be interpreted to impose any burden or sanction on, or include in the definition of the term, the following:
- Participating in a religious event.
- Acting in an emergency involving the protection of a person or property from an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or substantial danger.
- Participating in an activity consisting of the exercise of a student’s rights protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article 1, Section 31 of the Constitution of the State of Indiana, or both.
- Participating in an activity conducted by a nonprofit or governmental entity that provides recreation, education, training or other care under the supervision of one or more adults.
- Participating in an activity undertaken at the prior written direction of the student’s parent.
- Engaging in interstate or international travel from a location outside Indiana to another location outside Indiana.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PEER CONFLICT AND BULLYING
Normal Peer Conflict
- Peers have equal power or are friends with each other
- Conflict happens occasionally or rarely
- May be accidental
- May not be serious; no threat of harm
- Equal emotional reaction from both peers
- Not seeking power or attention and not trying to gain something
- General remorse - will want to take responsibility
- Effort on both sides to solve the problem
- Imbalance of power between peers; not friends
- Repeated negative actions that happen often
- Purposefully done
- Serious with a threat of physical or emotional harm
- Strong emotional reaction from the victim and little to no emotional reaction from the bully
- Seeking power, control or material things
- No remorse - bully blames victim: no guilt from bully
- No effort to solve the problem
Communicating during a crisis
Plainfield Community School Corporation uses ParentSquare as its primary means of sharing mass notifications with designated family members. Messages can be shared via text, email or phone call, although in an emergency situation, the option to contact school families via all means will be used. ParentSquare gets its data from PowerSchool, so please be sure to keep your contact information updated at all times.
Please remember the following if a school safety incident occurs:
- Hit PAUSE. Don’t jump in your car and rush to the school. Give us a chance to gather accurate information, create a clear message and send it via ParentSquare. It won’t happen immediately.
- If you hear that an emergency has happened at one of our schools, please don’t rush to the school. We need to keep parking lots and access roads clear for emergency response vehicles, as well as school buses (in case we need to move students to another location.)
- Do not call the school. It is important that phone lines are available for follow-up conversations with a variety of people. We will contact you as soon as we have accurate information to share.