Threat Assessment

Threat assessment is a set of strategies and procedures to help identify potential threats and the likelihood that they will occur. It is a key component of a trauma-informed school because it helps a community to recognize and respond to threats to prevent traumatic events from occurring.

Preventing a tragedy begins with preparing members of the school community to take notice of and respond to concerning behaviors. Concerning behaviors include threats and intimidation, bullying, stalking, relationship violence, weapon possession, suicidal behavior, and physical assault.

Create a Threat Assessment Plan

In the wake of increased violence in schools and recent school shootings, it is vital that schools create a threat assessment plan to respond to concerning behaviors and suspected threats. The plan development should involve school staff, law enforcement, and mental health clinicians. The resulting plan should help a trauma-informed school community anticipate, identify, and respond to threats.   

A school's threat assessment plan can include changing the culture of communication. Through training, a school community can encourage

  • teachers to share their concerns about students with other teachers. 
  • students to abandon the code of silence with their peers when faced with information about potential threats.
  • parents to be more aware of the emotional and social health of their children.

These combined efforts can lead to help for troubled students and fewer incidents of violence.