Shamokin Area School District
Threat Assessment Team
What is Threat Assessment?
Threat assessment is a structured group process used to evaluate the risk posed by a student or another person, typically as a response to an actual or perceived threat or concerning behavior. Threat assessment as a process was developed by the Secret Service as a response to incidents of school violence. Threat assessment seeks to make an informed judgment on two questions: how credible and serious is the threat itself? And to what extent does the threatener appear to have the resources, intent, and motivation to carry out the threat?
The primary purpose of a threat assessment is to prevent targeted violence. The threat assessment process is centered upon on analysis of the facts and evidence of behavior in a given situation. The appraisal of risk in a threat assessment focuses on actions, communications, and specific circumstances that might suggest that an individual intends to mount an attack and is engaged in planning or preparing for that event.
In a situation that becomes the focus of a threat assessment inquiry or investigation, appropriate authorities gather information, evaluate facts, and make a determination as to whether a given student poses a threat of violence to a target. If an inquiry indicates that there is a risk of violence in a specific situation, school personnel and school resource officers conducting the threat assessment collaborate with others to develop and implement a plan to manage or reduce the threat posed by the student in that situation.
Shamokin Area School District utilizes a team approach, which utilizes trained site level threat assessment teams through the CSTAG process, in consultation with the District Threat Assessment Team to conduct threat assessments utilizing a standardized rating system. Based on the results of these rating, appropriate actions are taken to address the threat level which is determined by the team. These actions are taken in conjunction with collaboration from law enforcement, mental health professionals, and other relevant personnel/agencies.
Who Activates the Threat Assessment Team?
The threat assessment team is activated by a site administrator upon receiving information which indicates a threat to an individual, individuals or school site as a whole. This should be done immediately upon receiving this information in order that the threat assessment team may immediately be included in the process. This may involve coordination with law enforcement and/or mental health so that the TAT receive and document information prior to the student being removed from campus. When a threat assessment team is convened, please notify building administrator. They will work with the threat assessment team to determine next steps based on the information acquired by the team.
Who Comprises the Threat Assessment Team?
Threat assessment teams should be comprised of individuals who have received training in Threat Assessment. Team members may include the following: school psychologist, school counselor/s, social workers, administrators, and other individuals who know the student who is being assessed. The school nurse may also be important for providing information regarding any physical conditions or medications which may impact a student’s functioning. It may also be important to include relevant community members including probation officers, social workers or other individuals with knowledge of a student’s behavior and social-emotional functioning.
If the student of concern is being provided services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), a representative from the team that developed or manages that student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) also should be brought onto the threat assessment team as an ad hoc member for the inquiry regarding this particular student.
For more information, please contact Mr. Tony Carnuccio. Phone# 570-648-5731