The best threat assessment tool is awareness. Being aware of our surroundings and paying attention to anything that seems out of place, out of context, or causes us to hesitate, is a vital tool for threat assessment.
According to Gavin de Becker, our intuition informs us at all times, even when we are busy attending to other business. Those feelings of fear, apprehension, hesitation, and doubt are signals from our intuition that something is wrong and we need to pay attention. Too often, we ignore or minimize these signals.
This week, I’d like to ask you to pay close attention to your surroundings and the nuances of others’ behavior. Listen to your intuition and see what you can learn.
You might notice some unusual activity in an area of your school that is normally off limits. Perhaps you notice something out of place, someone you don’t know in the parking lot, or behavior that seems unusual.
We need to be able to recognize that which is typical of someone’s behavior, so we can notice when something atypical is happening. If a previously calm and steady student, parent or staff member suddenly erupts in anger or becomes increasingly combative or agitated, we are being given clues that demand our attention.
Is someone complaining that he or she is “always a victim”? Is a middle school student reporting increased bullying? Does a freshman boy seem more withdrawn than the last time you spoke with him? Is your English teacher experiencing increased work, family or other stress?
Make attention your best tool for one week, and let me know what you learn by contacting me here. I look forward to hearing from you!
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