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Threat Assessment and Disparities in School Discipline

NCJ Number
Journal of Threat Assessment and Management Volume: Online Dated: 2023
Date Published

This document reports on an investigation of the possibility of disparities based on race/ethnicity and disability in the disciplinary and law enforcement outcomes for students receiving a threat assessment in Florida public schools.


Students who receive a school threat assessment can be subject to disciplinary and law enforcement consequences ranging from school suspension to arrest and incarceration. An important question is whether those consequences are administered in a disproportionate manner to students who differ by race, ethnicity, or disability status. In 2019, Florida mandated the use of threat assessment in its schools and began statewide implementation of the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG). This study examined the rates of exclusionary discipline and law enforcement consequences in an initial sample of 1,102 Florida cases from 21 school districts for the 2020–2021 school year. A unique feature of this study was the use of Bayesian logistic regression to demonstrate more specifically that students from different groups (Black, Hispanic, and White students, and students receiving or not receiving special education services) received comparable disciplinary and law enforcement outcomes. Although more research is needed, these findings provide new evidence from the previously unstudied state of Florida that can help allay the concern that threat assessment has negative consequences for students of color and students with disabilities. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023