8 Points from The Secret Service Threat Assessment Guide
The Secret Service recently released a Threat Assessment Guide for schools and universities to use with students. The guidelines are meant to prepare and train educators to understand, take action against, and discourage violent or harmful behavior among students. Below, we’ve listed steps, based on the Secret Service Guide, to develop your own threat assessment guide for your school or campus. Schools are encouraged to expand on these steps and customize as they see fit.
- Establish a “Multidisciplinary Threat Assessment Team” that will receive reports about students and events that are cause for concern. This team should be comprised of professionals with different backgrounds, including but not limited to: teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, mental health professionals, and school officials. Security officers should also be included in this group.
- Decide what behaviors are “zero tolerance”; there should be a specific list of prohibited behaviors by students, as well as any other behavior that require immediate intervention.
- Create a report system. This system should include a direct pipeline to the Threat Assessment Team. Students, parents, staff, and security officers should be encouraged to use the reporting system.
- Know when to contact law enforcement. If there are threats of violence of any kind, law enforcement should be notified immediately. With other cases where violence is not indicated, the Threat Assessment Team should use their own discretion.
- Determine threat assessment procedures, such as searching students’ lockers, speaking with parents, and/or looking through social media. Make sure to keep documentation of everything that’s done.
- Develop a risk management plan. This plan should have the goal of reducing the risk of violence from the student in question. Some steps may include counseling, peer support programs, or tutoring. Again: if there is any threat of violence, the police should be notified immediately and before any other action is taken.
- Promote a safe and respectful climate in the school. Social and emotional support should be available at all times for students. Teachers, students, other staff, and security officers should be encouraged to demonstrate “positive behaviors”.
- Conduct regular training for everyone. This should be developed and customized for students, teachers, and other stakeholders. Summit security officers are able to undergo active shooter scenario training for this purpose.
Want to enhance your school security program? Summit has worked with schools, school districts, colleges, and universities for more than 30 years. We offer specialized training for our security officers to work in schools and how to interact with students. We’ve also provided security consulting services and Security Directors for schools. To find out more about how Summit can help with your school security, contact us.