School Safety Success Storiesfeaturing the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services

Oct 19, 2022

Earlier this week a Virginia school received a “Handle With Care” notification for a student who witnessed a law enforcement interaction at her home. The elementary age student had spent that entire day agitated, fighting, unable to stay in class, and unable to communicate or connect what had happened the night before to how they were feeling. The elementary school staff was struggling in how best to respond to this student and were considering an out of school suspension.

Once the Handle with Care notification was received, the school was able to better understand the challenges the student was having and they were able to support the student effectively. The student was not suspended! The staff reporting the success story said “This is a really big deal in our world and a huge step towards building a trauma responsive school and community! Social workers are now working with this family to support the bigger need rather than just reacting to the behavior. THANK YOU and thank you to the staff who sent in the Handle With Care notice – You have no idea the difference this made to this child and how much of a difference we have a chance to make in the lives of many members of our community!

Special thanks to Betsy Bell, K-12 Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Programs Coordinator, for her work implementing Handle with Care.
Written and submitted by Shellie Evers, School Safety Training & Conference Coordinator, Division of Public Safety Training and the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety