Counselors Under Fire For Failing To Report Edmond School Threat
EDMOND, Oklahoma - Investigators recommended two counselors face criminal charges for failing to report the threat of a mass casualty event at Edmond North High School.
A 16-year-old student was accused of plotting to kill himself, students, and staff.
The threats first came to the attention of counselors at Edmond Family Counseling on March 3. Police were not notified for 10 days.
At that point, they said the student had already conducted tests of explosive devices.
"It's just been a lot of going through paperwork, and details trying to put together a timeline, and who knew, what when." said Jenny Monroe, a spokesperson for the Edmond Police Department.
Monroe said a couple of individuals were not cooperating with the investigation.
Those two individuals, employees with the Edmond Family Counseling Center, not only failed to tell police about the original threat, but are not talking to them now, citing client confidentiality.
"Our ethics requires us, our licensee requires that if someone is making a specific threat that we contact law enforcement," Shawn Roberson, a forensic psychologist who's performed thousands of criminal evaluations. Roberson said there's a point at which public safety trumps confidentiality.
Roberson explained in a case where someone could walk out of the door of a mental health facility and act on their threats, it becomes an ethical requirement for the mental health professional to intervene.
However, Roberson said it's a tough decision for most to make.
He explained often times mental health professionals do not receive in-depth training for recognizing these potential risks, but he said they should.
"It's incumbent upon us to have the training and knowledge of knowing when to act to prevent possibly some very bad outcomes from occurring," said Roberson.
The two counselors in question did not return calls from News 9.
The Oklahoma County District Attorney will now review the case presented by Edmond police and determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute.