2nd Edition

School Crisis Response Reflections of a Team Leader

By Jeffrey C. Roth Copyright 2023
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    School Crisis Response introduces a unique educational approach that provides compelling scenarios for the development of school crisis responders.

    There are many books describing the how-to of school crisis response, but few describe the thoughts and emotions to help guide the application of skills learned. This book provides narratives about traumatic events to supplement concepts with lessons from actual crises. The author documents the perspective of a team leader, vividly illustrating real events to confront the challenges, decisions, and problem-solving demanded to effectively stabilize emotional reactions, ameliorate trauma, and support resilience and recovery.

    While encouraging reflection, educating, and strengthening new and experienced responders, this book celebrates the vital work of school psychologists, counselors, administrators, teachers, social workers, and nurses who provide extraordinary service under the most difficult circumstances. It combines an intellectual, evidence-based "in the head" understanding of how to do crisis response with an emotional, empathetic "in the heart" understanding of how it feels to do it.

    SECTION 1 Team Planning and Advocacy: Establishing a Crisis Response Team  1. Accidental Death of a Student 2. Death of a Colleague: Responding Alone  3. Homicide of an Elementary School Student  4. Establishing a Crisis Response Team  SECTION II Team Formation: Implementing the Team and Establishing Credibility  5. Training and Team Building  6. House Fire  7. Essential Elements of Crisis Response  8. Coping with a Drowning  9. Triage: Casting a Broad Net  10. Death of a Kindergarten Teacher  11. Engaging Children to Work Through Grief  12. Cultural Responsiveness When a Teacher Dies SECTION III Team Development: Building Skills, Caring for Clients and Ourselves  13. Media Message: Mutual Benefit or More Trauma?  14. Death in the Classroom: Severe Emotional Trauma  15. Memorials and Funerals  16. Being Present: In the Skin of the Responder  17. Betrayal of Trust  18. Care for the Caregiver: In the Eye of the Storm  19. Death of an English Teacher SECTION IV Team Maintenance: Sharing Leadership, Expanding Knowledge, Ongoing Challenges  20. Disengagement and Demobilization  21. Leadership and Teamwork  22. Homicide of a High School Student  23. Systems Thinking


    Jeffrey C. Roth, PhD, NCSP, initiated and led a crisis response team, school-wide conflict resolution program, positive behavioral support, and social skills curriculum. He served as adjunct professor at Wilmington University, Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteer, and was awarded Delaware’s School Psychologist of the Year and Outstanding School Psychology Advocate.

    "This is one of the most impactful books I have read on crisis response. As a team leader myself, Dr. Roth had so much insight to add to my depth and breadth of knowledge! Not only does he share his own pitfalls in a meaningful way, but Dr. Roth discloses the thoughts and emotions that often accompany responding to crisis events. This research-based book is full of stories that come alive and includes an extensive bibliotherapy section, practical handouts, letters, and checklists that can be used in practice. And, uniquely, Dr. Roth concludes many chapters with reflection questions to get crisis teams thinking of issues not previously considered to ensure best practice. Dr. Roth's experience and insights make this book a valuable tool for any crisis responder and I will be using it in teaching my graduate courses."

    Terri A. Erbacher, PhD, LP

    Lead School Psychologist, Delaware County Intermediate Unit Crisis Response

    Co-Author, Suicide in Schools

    Co-Author, Developing Comprehensive School Safety and Mental Health Programs

    "Now in its second edition, School Crisis Response: Reflections of a Team Leader is a fantastic resource for educators across a variety of disciplines. Not only has Jeff Roth skillfully compiled information that is meaningful to school psychologists, school counselors, school social workers, nurses, teachers, and administrators, but he presents it in a manner that is accessible to both graduate students and professionals at any career stage. Delicately balancing theoretical concepts and evidence-based approaches with pragmatic considerations for practitioners, Roth’s use of real-life vignettes and the transparency of missteps as opportunities for growth make this book required reading for anyone serving children in schools or preparing the next generation of skilled educators."

    Charles A. Barrett, PhD, NCSP, school psychologist, educator, author, speaker


    "In School Crisis Response: Reflections of a Team Leader, Dr. Roth offers valuable information regarding school crisis team planning, formation, development, and maintenance. I recommend this book for all professionals preparing for school crisis response activities."

    Shane R. Jimerson, PhD, NCSP

    University of California, Santa Barbara

    Co-Author, Best Practices in School Crisis Prevention and Intervention


    "School Crisis Response: Reflections of a Team Leader is a great resource to assist school-based mental health professionals learn the ins and outs of responding to emergencies. Dr. Roth interweaves the mental health theory with practical examples of what happens during each response. The book demonstrates the benefit of training school staff in PREPaRE Crisis Prevention and Intervention, and other techniques. School staff can use this book to learn how to create a crisis team; how to respond; and how to determine who needs assistance after a crisis. It does not neglect care for the crisis responder. This is a great resource for any school crisis responder!"

    Christina Chester, PsyD, NCSP

    Coordinator, Division of Psychological Services, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD

    Co-Author, School Crisis Prevention and Intervention: The PREPaRE Model


    "The National Association of School Psychologists developed our own training model, called PREPaRE, for crisis intervention. Knowing the model well, Dr. Roth provides extensive insights and practical examples. He outlines the levels of crisis intervention, offering examples of collaborative efforts among school personnel to assist when a crisis occurs. This deeply researched and practical book should be on the desk of school administrators and support personnel to serve as their guide for when the inevitable crisis happens."

    Dr. Scott Poland, EdD, NCSP, LP

    Nova Southeastern University

    Director, Suicide and Violence Prevention

    Co-Author, Suicide in Schools  

    "Dr. Roth’s book is a powerful resource for trainers who are preparing graduate students and professionals new to crisis intervention. His insights illustrate the growth and pain that seasoned responders experience but sometimes do not share when training novice responders. New responders will see the need to plan and to engage in best practices. The sample questions after each case study can stimulate discussion during training. I value the tips and sample letters. I plan to incorporate Dr. Roth’s book into my crisis intervention curriculum."

    Sara Castro-Olivo, PhD, NCSP

    Texas A & M University

    "This book is an extremely valuable resource for professionals working in schools who may be called upon to respond to a variety of crisis situations. Written with a unique combination of compelling narratives and evidence-based concepts, Jeffrey Roth’s years of training and experience are reflected in this important work. Readers will learn from real-life events, including but not limited to rape, murder, and accidental deaths, how crisis response teams and leaders offer help, confront unique challenges, and problem-solve to provide the most effective services for those impacted. Whether a school is just starting to assemble a crisis team or has an established team looking for more resources, this book offers something for all. The narrative studies demonstrate the need for establishing, implementing, building skills, and maintaining multidisciplinary crisis teams. The National Association for School Psychologists’ PREPaRE Model is illustrated as a framework to guide school crisis prevention and intervention. The powerful voice of experience is heard through all phases of a crisis event, reinforcing the importance of effective coordination and collaboration. Important topics that challenge school crisis responders, such as working with alienated and grieving students, caring for the caregivers (including crisis interveners), practicing with cultural competence, working with the media, and preparing for funerals and memorials, are addressed. This is an important and valuable resource to be used by school crisis response teams, practicing school professionals, and graduate students."

    Amanda B. Nickerson, Ph.D., NCSP, professor of School Psychology and director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York


    "Unique aspects come together beautifully in Dr. Roth’s book to paint a realistic picture of what school crisis prevention, response, and recovery look, feel, and sound like. Each chapter begins with an abstract that segues into a case vignette, providing the reader with the story of each crisis from start to finish. This structure captures and holds interest.

    The book’s most distinguishing characteristic is the way the author gives examples of statements that can be made when one does not know what to say in the midst of and after a crisis. Each experience concludes with reflective questions. Ethnic and cultural differences can make situations temporarily more difficult. The author’s personal mistakes are teachable moments that can help mental health professionals dig deeper into personal bias and cultural awareness.

    Bibliotherapy—an extensive list of resources organized by topic (e.g., loss of a pet, natural disasters)—is so detailed that all school mental health professionals can benefit from having this at their immediate disposal. I recommend this book for multiple audiences."

    Victoria A. Comerchero, PhD, NCSP, LP

    CUNY Baruch College

    Co-Founder, Grief and Bereavement Interest Group, NASP


    "This book is a bridge between theory and practice and a fleshing out of best practices during a situation. It addresses real world issues—challenges, doubts, frustrations, and decisions, touching anyone who has responded to a crisis. It was reassuring to reflect on earlier challenges to see that I felt similar doubts and frustrations, but in the end we all did the best job we could. This book is a must for school crisis responders. In it, I found a number of approaches we can integrate into what we are doing to bolster our program."

    Ben Fernandez, NCSP

    Lead School Psychologist, Loudoun County Public Schools, VA

    PREPaRE Workgroup and Trainer

    Co-Author, Perspectives on School Crisis Response: Reflections from the Field 

    "For years, Dr. Jeffrey Roth has supported students and school-based staff in responding to crises. While providing an honest and valuable reflection of his experiences, he is simultaneously humble in reflecting upon what he would do differently. This is an effective learning tool. The book is comprehensive, providing guidance and resources on how to respond to a variety of crises—from the death of a teacher to the drowning of a student. Tips for school psychologists and other professionals are integrated throughout the book, along with valuable letters and memo templates to distribute following a crisis. Reflection questions and a comprehensive list of books for a variety of ages, death, and other losses are included. School Crisis Response: Reflections of a Team Leader will be an invaluable resource for school psychologists and graduate students."

    Jacqueline A. Brown, PhD, NCSP

    University of Montana

    Co-Author, Supporting Bereaved Students at School