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Lee County Schools working to stop school threats with online violence prevention programs for families

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lee County School District is offering parents the opportunity to learn more about the violence prevention program used in their schools.

Risk Assessment Coordinator, Rick Parfitt, told Fox 4 that it will be a series of presentations on behavioral threat assessment and management that will be available over the next several months.

The topics covered will include:

  • Targeted Violence
  • Behavioral Threat Assessment
  • Overview of the Threat Assessment Model
  • Pathway to violence and Examples and Warning Signs
  • Role of Parents and the Community

Parfitt says it will take the teamwork of parents and school districts to put a stop to school threats.

“In school, we are going to get a lot of threats or that type of behavior especially with social media and the technology today,” he said.

After the Parkland school shooting in 2018, the state of Florida mandated that all schools have a threat assessment team.

Program coordinators like Parfitt said looking at past cases gives them a roadmap of warning signs and behaviors for parents to look out for.

“You’ll hear someone say, that’s just so-in-so. That’s just the way he was, that’s just the way he acts. So we have normalized sometimes, bad behavior, concerning behavior and overlook it,” said Parfitt.

Parfitt says it’s understandable for parents to struggle when it comes to looking at their children’s behavior objectively.

More importantly, he wants parents to recognize the signs, so they can get families the help they need.

“Our goal is, our hopes are, that we work together so we can avoid making felony arrests, so we can avoid introducing kids into the criminal justice system when we don’t have to,” said Parfitt.

Here is the list of upcoming presentations:

  • Thursday November 4, 2021         6:30pm-8:30pm
  • Tuesday November 30, 2021        10:00am-12:00pm
  • Wednesday January 12, 2022        6:30pm-8:30pm
  • Saturday February 19, 2022          10:00am-12:00pm
  • Tuesday March 29, 2022                6:30pm-8:30pm
  • Wednesday April 20, 2022             6:30pm-8:30pm

If you would like to register for one of the online events, click here.