The Wisconsin Department of Justice announced new “Critical Incident Response Teams” for schools across the state.
The new program will train individuals to respond to critical incidents and “provide all Wisconsin K-12 public, private, charter and tribal schools with access to a regionally based team to support them if a critical incident ever occurs at their school.”
“We must take a comprehensive approach to school safety,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “By creating regional Critical Incident Response Teams for schools across Wisconsin, our Office of School Safety and the partners participating in this program will ensure that resources and support are available if a critical incident takes place at any Wisconsin school.”
The creation of the units follows a horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 21 individuals. Since the event, leaders across the country have placed an emphasis on school safety.
Specifically, Wisconsin’s program will focus on the mental-health impact of any critical event, according to a press release.
“The mission of the CIRT program is to minimize the psychological impact of a school critical incident; provide resources to help stabilize the school community; work to identify individuals that may require long-term mental health services after a critical incident occurs; and offer support to school administrators and educators. Wisconsin is the first state to implement regionally based CIRTs on a statewide basis,” the department explained.
“Each of Wisconsin’s 12 regional CIRTs is made up of volunteers who are part of a multi-disciplinary team. These teams include law enforcement officers, school administrators, counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, teachers, school safety experts, and representatives from other related professions.”
Since 2018, the state has sent roughly $100 million to school districts across Wisconsin to boost the safety of students.
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