Schools, service providers to share student info
JANESVILLE For more than 10 years, Rock County agencies that deal with at-risk youth have been sharing information under an agreement they think maximizes safety in schools.
The interagency agreement spells out how and when police, school district officials, social workers, judges and prosecutors will share information about minors who are arrested and charged with crimes.
Calling themselves the “Safe Schools Team,” a number of agencies this month signed the agreement again as a way of formally showing how they make safety a priority, Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary said.
“The goal is to keep reminding people that it is not only legal but beneficial to share information,” O’Leary said.
One of the reasons for a formal signing of what was an existing agreement is that many school districts in the county have new superintendents, O’Leary said. Administration has changed in other agencies, as well, he said.
The inter-agency agreement spells out what kind of communication should happen when a child is arrested, charged or found guilty of a felony. It also spells out timelines for the sharing of that information.
In addition to specifics about felonies, it directs social workers and other youth services workers to share information about at-risk youth if their behaviors could put a school or a community at risk, according to the agreement.
While the information can and should be shared between service providers, they must keep it safe from the general public, O’Leary said. Information can only be shared if it is pertinent to a student’s assessment, placement or services, according to the agreement.
“This is about doing what we can do to prevent tragedy,” O’Leary said. “One of the things we can do is to not let anybody get blindsided by someone who is at risk.”