Liability Quotient (LQ) Revisited

LQ Liability Quotient

I’ve written previously about something I like to call your LQ or Liability Quotient. When I speak of your LQ, I’m referring to the level of risk assumed by your school or district regarding liability for injury, death or trauma to those in your care in the event of an emergency.

Several lawsuits against schools have recently been either filed by, or settled in favor of, those alleging policy omission, insufficient preparation or failure to act in accordance with safety policy when a threat to the school exists, or the unthinkable occurs.

When creating or updating a school safety plan, it’s vital to include all of the essential components of attending to prevention, school climate, threat assessment, physical security, drills, emergency response, and recovery measures. When we fail to cover all of these areas using currently established best practices, we not only expose those in our care to greater hazards, we leave ourselves open to the collateral damage of liability, lawsuits, insurance payouts with subsequent rises in insurance rates, and a tarnished reputation.

To help you evaluate your safety plan, I’ve written a report on The Essential Components of School Safety and you can access it simply by clicking on the link.

If you still have questions or concerns, consider booking a 1-to-1 consultation by either phone or Skype to discuss your concerns and develop a plan so you can keep everyone safe and minimize your liability risk.

Violence Threat Assessment Tools: Which are the best?

Violence threat assessment tools

I would love to be able to tell you that there is one definitive violence threat assessment tool that will give you all the answers. Unfortunately, it simply isn’t true. Threat assessment tools, grids and checklists are a method of organizing your information. A good tool will help guide your inquiry and investigation so you’ll know what’s important. Some tools will help you discern what is most important by assigning weight to each question or variable. But, your threat assessment team will still need to do the work.

Violence threat assessment tools and teams

Your team needs to be made up of individuals with a clear goal and the training, practice and belief system to achieve it. It should include staff members in various roles because each of them will bring something different to the table in terms of training, experience and knowledge of the person of concern.

Together, your team will walk through the threat assessment tools they’ve selected and determine what is currently known about the subject, information that still needs to be gathered, which team members are best suited to gather specific information, preliminary conclusions and an immediate plan. It is critical to agree on a time to meet back together to review additional information gathered. At that point, a more thorough assessment will take place and a careful, well-thought-out plan will be developed and implemented. It’s important for you to remember that threat assessment is not a one-time thing. It is constantly evolving and changing as new information is gathered and discounted. Your team will need to continue to monitor and review the situation, making adjustments as needed.

The practice of violence threat assessment is itself one of the best tools we have to identify and help individuals who are struggling. Your assessment may not reveal a serious or imminent threat of danger, and that would be an ideal outcome. But, you may find someone who needs your help. Helping that person with his/her struggles, mental health issues or grievances will improve his/her life immensely and keep all of you much safer.