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Student Threat Assessment as a Safe and Supportive Prevention Strategy, Final Technical Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2020
95 pages

This is the Final Technical Report on the findings and methodology of a project with the goals of 1) examining the statewide implementation of student threat assessment in Virginia; 2) determining what student and school outcomes are associated with student threat assessment; and 3) assessing how training/technical assistance can improve student threat assessment.


Threat assessment is a systematic approach to violence prevention designed to distinguish serious threats, defined as behaviors or communications in which a person poses a threat of violence, from cases in which the threat is not serious. The process of threat assessment encompasses identification of a threat, determination of intervention, and the management of threatening situations. Student threat assessment is intended to maintain school safety by resolving student conflicts or problems before they escalate into violence. The methodology for each of the three goals of this study of student threat assessment in Virginia schools is described. Seven key recommendations are reported from this assessment of student threat assessment. They include having a state training requirement for members of a school threat assessment team; greater emphasis in the training on the negative consequences of exclusionary discipline of students; requirement to provide students, parents, and school staff an orientation on threat assessment practices and reporting; an annual evaluation of each school's threat assessment practices; distinguishing of threats against others from threats against self; and the collection of data that enable determination of the equity of threat-assessment impact by student demographic group. 44 references and appended study instruments

Date Published: February 1, 2020