Slaton ISD implementing preventative measures to protect student - FOX34 Lubbock

Slaton ISD implementing preventative measures to protect students

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SLATON, Texas -

After the Santa Fe school shooting leaders in security and education have scrambled to ensure children on safe in the classroom.

Solutions have varied from arming teachers to reducing the number of entrances to implementing programs that aim to detect any potential red flags a student may commit violence. 

At Slaton ISD administrators are taking a slightly different approach, one that consistently tracks the well being of students and teaches them how to work through problems. It is called the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and it provides teachers with methods for identifying and addressing problems in school. The goal is to build relationships with students and work through problems.

"We work with them on ways to breed calmness in the classroom," said Sam Thompson, the director of MTSS at Slaton ISD. "To get kindness out of their children rather than hateful words and those kinds of things. As they do that methodically throughout grade to grade then we're actually talking about a system."

These are methods Rebecca Castillo have already been implementing.

"I'm a Slaton girl," Castillo said. "Grew up here, went to school here. I know a lot of these people. A lot of the families here, a lot of the kids."

Her connections allow her to de-escalate situations that may arise.

"We trust each other," she said. "They can come and talk to me. We can discuss any issue they're having and I'm not going to be upset with them because they made a mistake."

The program is doing more than just addressing student's well being, it is supporting efforts to thwart any threats of violence by or against students.

"To intervene early allows us to teach them coping mechanisms," Thompson said. "When a student has decided to act violently in anyway, if they're just hitting they're parent for instance or just their sibling or if they're bringing a gun to school they feel as if it's a solution in some way."

While the program is still in its infant stages at Slaton, Castillo said it is working.

"I think it does make a long term impact on their success in the classroom," she said.

Currently Slaton is the only school in the region using the MTSS program.

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