School Climate & Safety

Man Detained in Iraq With U.S. Guide on School Crisis Plans

By Sean Cavanagh — October 08, 2004 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

An unidentified man taken into custody by U.S. authorities in Iraq had a computer disc containing a publicly available federal report on school emergency planning, according to a San Diego school official, who said the district was notified of the incident because the report describes some of the district’s crisis-response procedures.

See Also

Those descriptions are incorporated into “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities,” published in May 2003 by the U.S. Department of Education’s office of safe and drug-free schools. The FBI notified the San Diego district of the situation, Steven S. Baratte, a spokesman for the school system, said in an interview last week.

The 146-page guide, available on the Education Department’s Web site, offers school officials tips on security and crisis response.

An FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Sept. 30 that there was no evidence of a threat to the San Diego schools or the other districts mentioned in the report, and that the in tentions of the individual in Iraq could have been harmless. The FBI official said the bureau had passed the information along to the school system as a precaution. The official declined comment on the circumstances or timing of the man’s detention.

‘No Direct Threat’

The report, “Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities,” is available from the U.S. Department of Education. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

San Diego school officials did not notify parents of the matter because of the vague nature of the information and a desire not to cause alarm, Mr. Baratte said.

“There was no direct threat to schools or the district,” he said. “We didn’t want to cause undue panic.” All of San Diego’s schools have crisis-response plans that are reviewed regularly, as required by state law, he said.

The Education Department’s guide describes the 140,000-student San Diego district’s approach to responding to crises and coordinating activity with law enforcement and the community. It also outlines crisis-response strategies in the Olathe school district in Kansas, the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania, the Volusia County schools in Florida, and the Hanover County district in Virginia.

Boyertown Superintendent Charles D. Amuso said the report doesn’t contain sensitive information, only a description of some things the district does well.

The FBI official said the agency had made efforts to get in touch with districts cited in the report over the past several weeks.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety 'Swatting' Hoaxes Disrupt Schools Across the Country. What Educators Need to Know
School lockdowns can cause stress to students, teachers, and families, even if threats don't materialize.
8 min read
A bald man and a woman with long brown hair tearfully hug a teen girl who is wearing a pale beighe backpack. Three women look on with concerned expressions.
A family shares a tearful reunion after Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas, went into lockdown because of a false report of a shooting.
Kin Man Hui/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
School Climate & Safety How to Spend $1 Billion in School Safety Funds: Here's What the Feds Recommend
A "Dear Colleague" letter from the Education Department puts a priority on creating inclusive, equitable school environments.
4 min read
The U.S. Department of Education urged schools to use federal funds to support the social, emotional, mental, and physical health needs of students in a "dear colleague" letter sent Sept. 15.
Third grader Alexis Kelliher points to her feelings while visiting a sensory room at Williams Elementary School in Topeka, Kan.
Charlie Riedel/AP
School Climate & Safety A Pair of Retired Military Officers Makes a Case Against Arming Teachers
Their comments come on a call organized by a national teachers' union pushing back against the school safety strategy.
3 min read
A man in a black polo shirt with short sleeves holds up a hand gun in front of a projector screen that shows a diagram of a gun with labeled parts.
Clark Aposhian, president of Utah Shooting Sport Council, holds a pistol during concealed weapons training for 200 Utah teachers, in West Valley City, Utah.
Rick Bowmer/AP