Kent City Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

8400A - THREAT ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION

Recognizing that student conduct may present a danger to students and staff members, in an emergency, school officials must act promptly to minimize risk.

Building-level threat assessment teams shall be headed by the Principal and include a school counselor, school psychologist, instructional personnel, and, where appropriate, the School Resource Officer. When logistics and staff assignments make it feasible, a Team may serve more than one (1) school. Team members shall receive training in Threat Assessment.

As required by Policy 8400, the following guideline outlines steps building administrators and their threat assessment teams must take when they become aware of a student-posed safety threat.

A threat is a concerning communication or behavior that suggests a person may intend to harm someone else. The threat may be spoken, written, or gestured and is considered a threat regardless of whether it is observed by or communicated directly to the target(s) of the threat. A threat may be communicated or observed electronically.

 

A.

Step One: The building principal (or designee when unavailable) receives a report that a student has made a threat and/or has engaged in behaviors or communications that would indicate the student intends to harm someone. Together, except in the case of an emergency, the building administrator and the Team assess the threat level posed by the student.

   
 

1.

High Level Threat: This is a direct, specific, plausible, and imminent threat. The threat is detailed and delineates a plausible plan of action. Examples include a student with a weapon in the building or other information indicating imminent danger on school property.

   
 

2.

Medium Level Threat: This is a more general threat with a strong indication that the perpetrator is preparing for action. The threat may suggest a possible place and time, but is not detailed or immediate. Examples include a Facebook post announcing that the student plans to buy a gun soon and use it, or a YouTube video picturing a ranting student claiming s/he has access to weapons.

     
 

3.

Low Level Threat: This threat is vague and indirect. The studentís threatened conduct may be unrealistic or poorly thought-out. Content suggests a general, nonspecific anger towards the school, staff, or peers. Examples include a student essay describing a school shooting or a child yelling that s/he hates everyone and hopes they all die.

   
 

B.

Step Two: After determining the level of threat, the building administrator takes immediate action. When the available information is insufficient to determine the level of threat, the administrator should err on the side of caution and consider the threat to be a high-level one.

   
 

1.

High Level Threat:

   
 

a.

The Superintendent or building administrator alerts emergency responders (911).

   
 

b.

The Superintendent or building administrator initiates a school lock-down as per Policy 8400 Ė School Safety.

   
 

c.

The Superintendent or building administrator maintains communication with emergency responders and follows their directives.

   
 

d.

The Superintendent or building administrator contacts the studentís parents or guardians.

   
 

e.

The Superintendent or building administrator takes immediate steps to protect students and address the studentís specific plans. This can include emergency removal from school, emergency hospitalization, and law enforcement involvement.

     
 

f.

The Superintendent or building administrator takes disciplinary action, as appropriate, in accordance with Board policy and applicable conduct codes.

   
 

g.

After the threat is neutralized, the Superintendent or building administrator addresses media inquiries or alerts the designated media or public relations spokesperson.

   
 

h.

After the specific threat has been neutralized, the Team contacts the studentís parent and convenes a meeting to discuss the student and the threat. At the meeting the Team requests consent for further evaluation and permission to receive or share information with outside and/or existing health care providers. If the student has not previously been identified as eligible for special education, the Team, including parent(s), considers whether it suspects a disability; if it does, the District will conduct a multi-factored evaluation in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).

   
 

The Superintendent or building administrator completes Form 8400 F1 to document the incident and its response.

   
 

2.

Medium Level Threat:

   
 

a.

The Superintendent or building administrator alerts emergency responders (911) and follows their directives.

   
 

b.

The Superintendent or building administrator contacts the studentís parents or guardians.

     
 

c.

A mental health Team member (e.g., school psychologist, counselor) promptly meets with the student to evaluate the risk further. Topics to consider when speaking with the student include his/her: (1) motives and goals; (2) mental state; (3) plan details and consistency; (4) capacity to carry out the plan; (5) potential targets; (6) previous attempts or attack-related behaviors; (7) communications to others; (8) previous interest in violence; (9) family circumstances; (10) possible accomplices; and (11) circumstances that may affect the likelihood of an attack. The Team member should also try to ascertain whether the student has a positive relationship with any adult, especially a staff member.

   
 

d.

The Superintendent or building administrator alerts the potential targets and takes measures to secure their safety.

   
 

e.

The Team determines appropriate steps to address the studentís short-term and long-term challenges. This may include recommendations concerning emergency hospitalization, intensive counseling, anti-bullying measures, and evaluations for further services.

   
 

f.

After the threat is neutralized, the Superintendent or building administrator addresses media inquiries or alerts the designated media or public relations spokesperson.

 
 

g.

After the specific threat has been neutralized, the Team contacts the studentís parent and convenes a meeting to discuss the student and the threat. At the meeting the Team requests consent for further evaluation and permission to receive or share information with outside and/or existing health care providers. If the student has not previously been identified as eligible for special education, the Team, including parent(s), considers whether it suspects a disability; if it does, the District will conduct a multi-factored evaluation in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).

   
 

h.

Provided the parent agrees in writing, a mental health professional conducts a long-term risk assessment, including the childís personality traits and behaviors, as well as family, school, and social dynamics.

   
 

i.

The Team convenes with the parent(s) to review the results of the long-term risk assessment and determine whether any services are indicated.

   
 

j.

The Superintendent or building administrator takes disciplinary action, as appropriate, in accordance with Board policy and applicable conduct codes.

   
 

The Team completes Form 8400 F1 to document the incident and its response.

   
 

k.

The Team implements services as indicated by the long-term assessment, and continues to closely monitor the studentís behaviors.

     
 

3.

Low Level Threat:

   
 

a.

A member of the Team contacts the studentís parents or guardians, and convenes a meeting to discuss the student and the threat. At the meeting, the Team requests consent to evaluate and permission to receive or share information with outside and/or existing health care providers. If the student has not previously been identified as eligible for special education, the Team, including the parent(s), consider whether it suspects a disability; if it does, the District will offer to conduct a multi-factored evaluation pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).

   
 

b.

Provided the parent consents in writing, a mental health Team member (e.g., school psychologist, counselor) meets with the student to conduct an immediate threat assessment, including evaluating the studentís: (1) motives and goals; (2) mental state; (3) plan details and consistency; (4) capacity to carry out the plan; (5) potential targets; (6) previous attempts or attack-related behaviors; (7) communications to others; (8) previous interest in violence; (9) family circumstances; (10) possible accomplices; and (11) circumstances that may affect the likelihood of an attack.

   
 

c.

The Superintendent or building administrator takes disciplinary action, as appropriate, in accordance with Board policy and applicable conduct codes.

   
 

The Team completes Form 8400 F1 to document the incident and its response.

   
 

d.

The mental health member conducts a long-term assessment to determine the studentís long-term risk to himself/herself and others. This assessment should include the childís personality traits and behaviors, as well as family, school, and social dynamics.

     
 

e.

The Team convenes with the parent(s) to review the results of the long-term risk assessment and determine whether any services are indicated.

   
 

f.

The Team implements services as indicated by the long-term risk assessment, and continues to closely monitor the studentís behaviors.

   
 

C.

Step Three: After neutralizing the threat, the Team convenes to debrief and self-evaluate. The Team addresses areas to improve and long-term strategies, relating both to the particular situation, as well as possible future threats.

   
 

1.

The Team verifies that all appropriate Level Threat procedures have been followed.

   
 

2.

The Team convenes to evaluate its response and additional areas for improvement. These can include:

   
 

a.

improving lock down policies and procedures;

   
 

b.

working with law enforcement to conduct and supervise drills specific to student threats;

   
 

c.

enhancing prevention services: red-flagging students at risk; conducting surveys; implementing hotlines; increasing counseling referrals; raising staff awareness; involving the Intervention Assistance Team;

   
 

d.

clarifying SRO roles;

   
 

e.

soliciting input from staff and students.

   
 

D.

Step Four: After the threat is neutralized and the Team debriefs, a spokesperson or administrator meets with community members, staff, and students (as appropriate) to dispel rumors, raise awareness, and inform the community about future steps and prevention strategies.

     
 

E.

Step Five: For students returning to school after an absence (e.g., as a result of disciplinary action, emergency removal, and/or psychiatric treatment/hospitalization), the Superintendent or building administrator will meet with the studentís parent or guardian to discuss re-entry and appropriate next steps to determine the studentís readiness for return to school. Parents/guardians shall be notified in writing of all expectations for re-entry, and provided with a copy of any safety plan developed by the Team. The student's teachers will notified of any necessary supports or accommodations required from the teachers and the precautions that will be in place to provide for student and staff safety.

Regardless of threat assessment activities or protocols, disciplinary action and referral to law enforcement shall occur as required by State law and Board policy.

At all times, Team members must comply with studentsí Federal and State privacy rights, as described in Policy 8330 Ė Student Records. As necessary and appropriate during the assessment process (i.e., in non-life threatening emergencies), Team members shall acquire written consent for release and exchange of information with mental health providers and local law enforcement agencies.

© Neola 2015