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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul


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Ready. Respond. Refer. Revisit.

The R-Model is a violence prevention protocol for K-12 schools using Crisis Response Teams (teams). Using this model, schools get ready by setting up a team and protocols, respond to students in crisis, refer students to support and resources, and revisit to continually check in with that student. The R-Model was originally developed as a law enforcement protocol and has since been adapted into a school-based crisis intervention and violence prevention model (Peterson, Densley, & Erickson, 2019). 

A crisis is a period of time where someone’s current circumstances overwhelms their ability to cope. Someone in crisis is like a balloon full to burst and ready to pop. They are in need of compassion, support, and resources to let some air out of the balloon. If not addressed, a crisis can escalate, and the balloon can pop — resulting in harm or violence toward self or others. A crisis is communicated with a  noticeable change in behavior from baseline or “normal.” This will look different for each student. School community members (teachers, administrators, coaches, tutors, bus drivers, etc.) see their students every day. They are on the front lines of observing students’ behaviors over time and are well positioned to notice any marked change that may indicate that someone is in crisis.

In the R-Model, the first goal is to de-escalate and safeguard a student in crisis, then to create an Individualized Plan of Support (IPS) to connect them to the resources and services they need. In this model, punitive measures that may contribute to or exacerbate the crisis like school exclusion or criminal charges are avoided unless absolutely necessary.

The goal of the team is to prevent violence toward self and/or others and promote student well-being and safety. It is rooted in prior work on behavioral threat assessment (the process of evaluating whether someone may engage in targeted violence) and new research by The Violence Project on the causes and correlates of school shootings. This protocol offers a new way of thinking about behavioral threat assessment. Sometimes, behavior that is concerning is not inherently threatening. Based on what we know about school violence, it is critical to investigate any signs of a crisis, not only threats of violence.


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