Threat assessment is intended to prevent violence and involves both assessment and intervention. Threat assessment involves determining whether a student poses a threat of violence (they have intent and means to carry out the threat).
- It is important for school personnel to establish a threat assessment protocol to insure consistency and thoroughness in evaluating and responding to student and adult-originated threats.
- While each school district and school should have its own threat assessment teams and school threat protocols, some basic guiding principals include:
- Treat all threats seriously.
- Investigate the incident promptly and efficiently.
- Use support staff and external resources as a part of a multidisciplinary threat assessment team to evaluate threats.
- Take appropriate disciplinary and criminal enforcement steps.
- Document the threats and actions taken.
- Enhance security measures, as appropriate, to insure the safety of all students, staff, and facilities.
- Three common questions to begin assessing school threats:
- What is the motivation of the threat maker and credibility of the threat?
- Could the threat maker have the information on how to carry out the threat (such as information on how to make bombs or homemade weapons, for example)?
- Could the threat maker have access to the tools, and the capability to carry out the threat?
- Threat Assessment at School (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Threat Assessment: School Threats, Social Media, Texting and Rumors (National School Safety and Security Services)
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