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Threat Assessment Stafford County Public Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Threat Assessment Stafford County Public Schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Threat Assessment Stafford County Public Schools

2 Threat Assessment Team Members Central Office 1 st Sgt. Nancy Morin Greg Martin Sue Clark Melinda Cruz Dan Hornick J.R. Raybold Rick Fitzgerald Lisa Besceglia

3 Department of Safety, Security and Risk Management Responsibilities and Requirements Gather yearly statistical data Work with law enforcement on any imminent threats Work with DCJS for further guidance and information concerning Threat Assessment Teams (TAT) and requirements

4 Critical Periods Are predictable time frames for increased threat- making behavior. –Two weeks following a major traumatic incident. –Mid November - December break, other school breaks. –Month leading up to the anniversary of a violent crisis or traumatic event (ex. Columbine – April 20; Virginia Tech – April 16; World Trade Center – September 11)

5 Teachers and School Staff Students will often first report concerns to individual staff members with whom they feel comfortable. Staff are often the first to observe the dynamics of threat-making behavior.

6 Divisional Policy/Protocol PURPOSE: To authorize establishment of threat assessment teams The superintendent will establish a threat assessment team for each school. Teams may serve one or more schools as determined by the superintendent. The teams will assess and intervene with students whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of school staff or students consistent with the model policies developed by the Virginia Center for School Safety including procedures for referrals to community services boards or health care providers for evaluation or treatment when appropriate. Each team will include persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration and law enforcement. Each team will Provide guidance to students, faculty and staff regarding recognition of threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the community, school or self; Identify members of the school community to whom threatening behavior should be reported; and Implement policies adopted by the School Board. A principal who has received information that a juvenile is a suspect in or has been charged with certain violations of law pursuant to Va. Code § may provide such information to a threat assessment team. No member of a threat assessment team may disclose any such information or use such information for any purpose other than evaluating threats to students and school personnel.

7 Divisional Policy/Protocol cont’d. Upon preliminary determination that a student poses a threat of violence or physical harm to self or others, a threat assessment team shall immediately report its determination to the superintendent or superintendent’s designee. The superintendent or superintendent’s designee shall immediately attempt to notify the student’s parent or legal guardian. Nothing in this policy precludes school division personnel from acting immediately to address an imminent threat. Each threat assessment team will report quantitative data on its activities according to guidance developed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The superintendent may establish a committee to oversee the threat assessment teams or may assign the oversight of the teams to an existing committee. If such a committee is established, it will include individuals with expertise in human resources, education, school administration, mental health and law enforcement. Adopted: 06/25/13 Readopted: 12/12/13 **************** Legal Refs.: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ , VIRGINIA CODE § “Threat assessment teams and oversight committees”

8 Virginia Code VIRGINIA CODE § “Threat assessment teams and oversight committees” Local School Board Divisions will establish threat assessment teams and prescribe the responsibilities of those teams as well as related referral and reporting requirements.

9 VA Code § A. Each local school board shall adopt policies for the establishment of threat assessment teams, including the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of school staff or students consistent with the model policies developed by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety in accordance with § Such policies shall include procedures for referrals to community services boards or health care providers for evaluation or treatment, when appropriate

10 VA Code § Cont’d B. The superintendent of each school division may establish a committee charged with oversight of the threat assessment teams operating within the division, which may be an existing committee established by the division. The committee shall include individuals with expertise in human resources, education, school administration, mental health, and law enforcement.

11 VA Code § Cont’d C. Each division superintendent shall establish, for each school, a threat assessment team that shall include persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration, and law enforcement. Threat assessment teams may be established to serve one or more schools as determined by the division superintendent. Each team shall (i) provide guidance to students, faculty, and staff regarding recognition of threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the community, school, or self; (ii) identify members of the school community to whom threatening behavior should be reported; and (iii) implement policies adopted by the local school board pursuant to subsection A.

12 VA Code § Cont’d D. Upon a preliminary determination that a student poses a threat of violence or physical harm to self or others, a threat assessment team shall immediately report its determination to the division superintendent or his designee. The division superintendent or his designee shall immediately attempt to notify the student's parent or legal guardian. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude school division personnel from acting immediately to address an imminent threat. E. Each threat assessment team established pursuant to this section shall report quantitative data on its activities according to guidance developed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. (2013, c. 710; 2014, cc. 7, 158.)

13 An expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. Can be verbal, written, drawn, sent electronically, or made by gesture. Must be taken seriously, investigated and responded to. What is a threat?

14 Threat Assessment Is an assessment to determine the likelihood that a threat will be carried out. Is done to help students. Is done to help keep schools safe.

15 What Staff Should Watch For Changes in grades/behavior Not wanting to come to school Changers in family structure Lack of significant adult(s) in his/her life Lack of Adult Supervision Bullying/Victimization Obsession with violence/weapons Violent themes in art/writing Mental Health concerns Drug/Alcohol use or abuse Withdrawn Behavior

16 Two important hypotheses in the assessment of threat-making behavior Threat-making behavior is most frequently a cry for help. Students who make threats may alternate between thoughts of hurting others and of hurting themselves.

17 Duty to Report Staff must report all threats to their administrator/designee Students, staff, parents and community member have a responsibility and an obligation to report all threats and threat- related behaviors. Threat making is a safety issue for everyone. We are all responsible to help make schools safe and caring places.

18 The Threat Assessment/Crisis Management Team Each school has a multidisciplinary Threat Assessment/Crisis Management Team. The team may include the Principal, Vice Principal, School Social Worker, School Psychologist, School Counsellor, Resource Teacher and a Police Officer.

19 Purpose of Threat Assessment To promote the emotional and physical safety of everyone and to prevent harm to all, including the threat maker. To understand the context/details of the threat. To ensure that the response is appropriate without over or under reacting. To develop a plan of support/intervention for the student making threats. To develop strategies to maintain the student in the school with school-based interventions and community-based services as needed.

20 Threat Assessment Process Threat-making behaviors are reported using specific and descriptive language to the Principal or designate. The Principal initiates the team response. In the case of an immediate threat, 911 is called and the school may be locked down. DATA COLLECTION IS KEY. Interviews may be held with students, the threat maker and staff to prevent the threat from happening and to promote early intervention. Longer term planning occurs to support the threat maker and the target of the threats. Plans will be shared with parents, staff and students when appropriate.

21 Please remember We need to take all threats seriously. We all have a duty to report threats. The majority of threats are not acted upon. Responses to threats vary depending on the circumstances of the threat. We need to support students who have been threatened. Threats are often a cry for help. We need to help students who are making threats.

22 Threat Assessment Management/School Threat Assessment Teams –Monitor –Refer –Reassess risk level –Categorize cases as active or inactive –Maintain periodic contact with victim


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