What is a threat assessment?
A threat assessment is a behavioral approach to violence prevention that focuses on threats and other forms of student conflict before they escalate into violent behavior. The threat assessment team uses a problem-solving approach to evaluate the risk of violence posed by someone and to intervene & resolve the issues that underlie the threatening behavior. Florida Department of Education requires training and use of the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines: Interventions and Support to Prevent Violence by Dewey Cornell, Ph.D.
The goals of the threat assessment process are to keep schools safe and to help students overcome the underlying sources of their anger, hopelessness, or despair. An effective threat assessment provides school-based threat assessment teams with useful information about a student's risks and personal resources. Additional potential student risks that can be identified and prevented are academic failure, suicide, alcohol and drug use, physical abuse, and criminal activity.
What qualifies as a threat?
What guides our district threat assessment process?
What are the steps of the comprehensive behavioral threat assessment process?
Identification – initial responding/screening of a safety concern.
Assessment – gathering of detailed information & determination of the level of threat/safety risk.
Intervention – planning support needed to reduce risk of harm for the campus, staff, and students.
Monitoring – monitoring student’s needs, the safety of student and campus, and revising support as needed.
Students, parents, Pasco County School employees, and members of the community have a responsibility to report suspicious activities and potential threats to schools. Any suspicious activity or threat should be promptly reported to one of the following individuals, agencies or reporting tools:
A threat report can be made to:
*** If Imminent danger, call 911 ***
Everyone has a responsibility to report a threat. This is not snitching!!
Snitching: informing on someone for personal gain.
Seeking Help: attempting to stop someone from being hurt and get support to those in need
Even if it’s a joke … there are consequences!
Every Pasco County school as a Threat Assessment team that is required to meet monthly or as needed. Each month, the threat assessment team reviews assessment & implementation fidelity, safety plans, and pattern/trends of the data.
Pasco County Schools also has a District Threat Assessment team which also meets monthly or as needed. The district threat assessment team reviews district-wide implementation of the state adopted guidelines, new legislation, and high profile cases. The team includes members of the mental health team, student services, administration, and law enforcement.
All district and school-based threat assessment team members are trained in the use of the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines as required by FLDOE.
Online educational programs on school safety are available to help students and parents understand the threat assessment process for preventing violence.
We encourage all students, ages 12 and up, and parents to complete these programs. We also encourage parents to be available to discuss any questions your child may have after viewing the program. Please address any questions about CCPS threat assessment policy and threat reporting to your child’s school administrator.
This 15-minute program is a way to learn about the threat assessment process used in your school and how it can prevent violence. You will be asked to identify your school, but not yourself when completing the online program. By the end of the program, parents/students will know/understand:
The CCPS access code is:
Parent code: pzb22u
Student code: st8t78
Student education records are official and confidential documents protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment, defines education records as all records that schools or education agencies maintain about students. FERPA gives parents the right to review and confirm the accuracy of education records. These rights transfer to the student when the student turns eighteen years old or attends a postsecondary institution. FERPA relates to records/documents and not observations or direct communications.
There are exceptions of protections of FERPA including issues of health or safety emergency. School administrators, teachers and other staff may share information including educational records with other school officials that have a need to know the information; this includes the members of the threat assessment team.
Whenever safety concerns exist, schools may share information with others outside the school such as parents, law enforcement officials, and mental health professionals.
Even fake threats have real consequences. Parents, please talk to your children about this serious matter and potential consequences of such behavior:
Florida State Statutes: False Reporting