Lincoln Public Schools adds to threat assessment team, helping at-risk students

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The threat assessment team at Lincoln Public Schools is growing with the addition of a new social worker.

Lincoln Public Schools said on Friday that its goal is to connect students and families who are considered at-risk with resources that can help keep schools safe.

“I am hoping to help the current social worker on our team to help those families get connected to the resources that are available,” said Kristi Lange, who joined the threat assessment team earlier this year.

The team – which consists of LPS staff, a therapist, law enforcement and social workers – helps identify potential threats and develops strategies to reduce the potential for violence at schools.  

LPS says they decided to use their resources to add a new member as the district saw there was a growing need, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We realized the case load is growing to the point where we needed somebody to help manage the additional case load,” said Jon Sundermeier, LPS security coordinator and member of the threat assessment team. 

LPS says every year they investigate around 125 new cases of students with risk behavior. 

“You also have to add probably another half of that number of cases that are continuing to carry over time,” Sundermeier said. 

LPS says having two social workers will help the team collaborate with students, staff and families on long-term cases and also provide them with follow up resources. 

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