Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
alert
Office of School Safety

School districts yet to receive guidance on how Wisconsin's new Critical Incident Response Teams will work

  • 0

Twelve regional teams will be tasked with supporting school students and faculty after shootings and other incidents under a state Department of Justice program coming to fruition this fall.

The Critical Incident Response Teams, which are now undergoing training, will aim to minimize the psychological impact of a “school-related critical incident,” identify people requiring long-term mental health support and provide help to school employees, according to a DOJ statement.

The program is launching as 96 gun incidents at schools nationwide resulted in 40 deaths and 78 injuries so far in 2022, according to the gun control advocacy organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

“We must take a comprehensive approach to school safety,” Attorney General Josh Kaul said in a statement. “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.”

Wisconsin is the first state to implement the regional teams on a statewide basis, according to the statement. However, the exact way the teams will be implemented remains to be seen.

A spokeswoman for Racine Unified School District said in an email after the CIRT initiative was announced, “At this time our district is awaiting guidance from the Wisconsin Office of School Safety. They are the ones forming the teams, which we are told will be made up of volunteers and not district staff. The office told us we’d be given information once the teams are set up and protocols are in place.”

Critical incidents include “threats or acts of violence, natural disasters, serious injuries to students or staff, suicide, weather-related disasters, community turmoil, intruders, an Amber Alert, and hate crimes,” the statement says.

The teams, which are undergoing training through DOJ’s Office of School Safety, will include law enforcement, school administrators, counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, teachers, school safety experts and others. The Office of School Safety circulated the idea of creating the 12 teams at least as far back as 2020.

The initiative comes as a bipartisan group in the U.S. Senate appears poised to forge gun control legislation that could include an enhanced review process for people under 21 trying to buy guns. It could also include funding to bolster so-called “red flag” laws to remove guns from people deemed dangerous.

In 2019, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called his first special session encouraging legislators to pass a red flag law and universal background checks, but Republican leaders called the bills an infringement on Second Amendment rights and ended the special session just seconds after it began.

Asked whether Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, of Oshkosh, would support the federal bipartisan gun safety legislation, spokesperson Alexa Henning said Sunday, “There is no bill text yet, the senator will review that once it exists.”

“I stand on the side of taking action and this is a positive step forward that can help protect people from gun violence, help reduce mass shootings, and help save lives,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, of Madison, said in a statement. 

Ryan Patterson of The Journal Times contributed to this report.

Top 10 Wisconsin political stories of 2021 (based on what you, the readers, read)

2021 was another big year in Wisconsin politics. Sen. Ron Johnson said some things. Voters elected a new state superintendent. Gov. Tony Evers and Republicans clashed over mask mandates. Michael Gableman threatened to jail the mayors of Madison and Green Bay. Here are 10 political stories you, the readers, checked out in droves.

  • 0

Since the start of the outbreak, Gov. Tony Evers has issued multiple public health emergencies and a series of related orders. 

topical alert
  • 0

Sen. Ron slammed the impeachment over the weekend as “vindictive and divisive,” and possibly a “diversionary operation” by Democrats to distract from security lapses at the U.S. Capitol.

topical alert
  • 0

"I wouldn’t run if I don’t think I could win," said Johnson, who is undecided on a re-election bid. 

topical alert
  • 0

The board had previously not required masks in schools after some in the public voiced opposition.

  • 0

With a new order announced, Republicans may be forced to start the process all over again to vote down the governor's emergency order and accompanying mask mandate, but the most likely outcome appears to be an eventual court decision.

topical alert
  • 0

Fort McCoy officials acknowledge there were initial problems with food supply, but that and other issues are being addressed.

topical alert
  • 0

The idea is in its infancy and all options, including declining to pursue anything, are on the table.

topical alert
  • 0

Gableman has asked the court, which plans to take up the matter on Dec. 22, to compel the two mayors to meet with him.

  • 0

Deborah Kerr said she has also voted for Republicans and tells GOP audiences on the campaign trail for the officially nonpartisan race that she is a "pragmatic Democrat."

topical alert
  • 0

Limbaugh died Wednesday at 70.

0 Comments
0
0
0
0
0

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alert

Breaking News