This article reports on a project that developed an online educational program for students to increase their understanding of threat assessment and the need to report serious threats.
Threat assessment is a widely recommended practice used by schools to investigate and respond to student threats of violence; however, students are often reluctant to disclose threats. The current project developed an online educational program for students to increase their understanding of threat assessment and the need to report serious threats. We investigated two research questions: How are student characteristics of sex, grade level, and ethnicity/race associated with student knowledge of threat assessment and willingness to report threats and does the program increase knowledge of threat assessment and willingness to report threats? The sample consisted of 2,338 students from 6 middle schools and three high schools. Prior to program completion, boys were less willing than girls, and older students were less willing than younger students, to report threats. Post-program questions revealed that the program significantly increased knowledge and willingness to report threats across student groups, with effect sizes ranging from small to large. This program promotes school safety by teaching students about threat assessment and increasing willingness to report threats. The program is available online for other schools to use. (Publisher abstract modified)