You have probably heard me speak on the topic or have read something I’ve written on threat assessment, and my belief that threat assessment teams should be in every school district, college campus and workplace.
All aspects of safety are important and should be addressed. In this post, I want to focus on the process of threat assessment because it allows us to identify, assess and intervene when someone needs our help. It is not designed to predict violence but to prevent it. And, isn’t that a primary goal of protecting our students and staff?
Recommended Threat Assessment Practices
Whether you have had a threat assessment team operating in your district for several years, or are in the very beginning stages of developing one, I encourage you to read about threat assessment and to get training for yourself and key staff members. You will want to include building administrators, student services staff, your school resource officer(s) and school nurse(s). It really does take a team to put all of the pieces together and feel confident that you’ve done a thorough job of assessing and assisting an individual or situation.
If you don’t have a threat assessment team and want to learn more about why you need one, FEMA’s Guide to Developing High Quality School Emergency Plans addresses the practice of threat assessment in a clear, concise way on pages 59-63. It’s a good starting point.
If you want to learn more, feel free to contact me. I help school districts get started and continue to improve upon their threat assessment practices. It takes time and repetition to get right, and I work with a small number of districts for up to a year until they feel confident that they know what to do when someone’s behavior concerns them.
Just imagine how much safer your school will be once you have a trained threat assessment team in place.