The Crisis Response to a School-Based Hostage Event: A Case Study

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During the past two decades there has been increased public, professional, and legislative interest in school crisis prevention and intervention. It is recommended that comprehensive crisis teams be established at the school, district, and community levels. A case study was conducted in which interviews were utilized to facilitate an increased understanding of the experiences of state crisis team members responding to a school-based crisis event and how crisis teams attempted a coordinated response. Data analysis revealed several themes related to the importance of knowing the school system, having prior crisis-related training, the need for role flexibility, expectations related to the response, personal impact of the response, and the need for self-care. School mental health professionals and crisis response teams can consider these themes and ways to address concerns related to these themes to improve crisis response efforts.