The importance of providing appropriate crisis intervention to individuals and families from diverse backgrounds is an often overlooked aspect of service provision. In particular, school-based crisis intervention has only recently begun to address this issue. This study reviewed state mandated school crisis plans, state directives for crisis plans, and state resources to assist school districts in developing crisis plans. The content of these materials was examined to determine the extent and type of coverage given to student diversity, particularly cross cultural considerations. Materials were obtained from state department of education internet sites and from the state offices of Safe and Drug Free Schools. More specifically, materials included school crisis plans, state legislation related to crisis plans, and key internet websites linked to state departments of education. Representatives from all 50 states were initially contacted. Materials from 40 states were obtained. Thirty-three of the 40 states' crisis planning materials mentioned topics related to cultural sensitivity and/or student diversity. After reviewing and summarizing this information, 3 areas of service related to cultural sensitivity were identified as the most frequently reported topics: (a) working with students with mental and physical disabilities; (b) tapping into community resources representing diverse cultural groups; and (c) cross-cultural language and communication issues. Information related to cross cultural sensitivity was typically embedded in the document, not directly referred to in a section titled to indicate this topic. Unlike other topics such as violence, bomb threats, media, and suicide, cross cultural issues related to diversity did not appear to be a high priority in states' suggested and mandated crisis planning materials.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





school, crisis, crisis plans, cross-cultural, diversity, legislation, content analysis, states