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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202307 Find in a Library
Title: Assessing Threats Directed at School Facilities
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:9  Dated:September 2003  Pages:103-107
Author(s): Martin Dunn
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the importance of and logistics for establishing and operating school threat assessment teams.
Abstract: School officials should establish a threat assessment team that consists of representatives from various disciplines. The school nurse, head custodian, school security personnel, counselors, teachers, administrators, and any other person capable of contributing needed services should be invited to participate in team threat assessments. Whenever possible, a representative from the local law enforcement agency should also be on the team. When a threat is received, any available members of the team who are capable of addressing the type of threat received should immediately assemble to discuss facts. The school principal, a custodian, and the police supervisor on duty might handle an urgent threat. A threat that is not urgent might be discussed over the course of several days. Assessment teams can be especially useful under these circumstances. The evaluation should focus on the type of threat, the persons involved, the capacity of the person making the threat to actually execute it, and the ramifications of the various responses being considered. School and police officials should seek input from as many people as possible who have relevant information. It is important that all the information being considered be tested for accuracy. Assessment teams should have at least one person who is responsible for being familiar with the research that has been conducted on various types of school security threats; for example, in 2000 the National Threat Assessment Center released the results of a study conducted into 37 school shootings that involved 41 attackers. Some of the findings underscore the need to evaluate threats and the behaviors associated with them. Other studies that have been conducted have focused on bomb threats and guidelines for their management and assessment. The author advises that there is no standardized procedure for responding to a specific threat or type of threat, however. The threat assessment team must collect all the facts about a particular threat and then assess the appropriateness and likely effectiveness of various potential responses.
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Bomb threats; Crime in schools; School security; Team diagnosis; Threat assessment
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