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Take a second to think about all your safety resources and protocols you've implemented for school safety. What keeps your students and staff safe every day? Do you have a way to report and investigate threats to prevent emergencies before they happen?
School districts can build a protective environment and we can create a framework for quickly responding to and resolving emergencies as they arise, but there will always be threats looming in the distance, which is why it’s so important to be proactive about school safety and leverage the most advanced resources possible to eliminate threats before they can become emergencies.
The key to preventing emergencies is being able to learn about a threat, investigate the threat, and coordinate the appropriate response. Many school districts are utilizing student threat assessment (also known as behavioral assessments) to do just that.
Reporting safety risks is a critical first step, and it's critical for preventing future incidents and learning more about threats to schools. The use of student threat assessments allows school districts to utilize a flexible, problem-solving approach that treats risks seriously and methodically while treating students with dignity and respect.
Student threat assessments are designed to keep schools safer and help complex students overcome the underlying sources of their feelings leading to threats like gun violence, suicide, drug use, physical abuse, criminal activity, and dropping out of school. The situations complex students encounter can require numerous school safety and mental health professionals to collaborate and coordinate support, which requires ongoing communication and organization to do effectively.
Though conducting thorough student threat assessments can be a complex process, threat assessments greatly bolster the safety of any school district. While many districts will need some help to pull it all together, technology can play a huge role in assisting with the process and procedures surrounding student threat assessments.
As safety risks continue to grow, technology and safety strategies have likewise been developed to help deal with the growing number of threats to our safety. There are several different approaches, but a commonality of successful threat assessments is being able to keep all parties united through clear communication and a functional flow of information and steps that need to be taken.
Most assessments are conducted by teams, which means collaboration and coordination is vital to conducting a successful assessment. Many assessments are done with paper-based materials, and an individual assessment can be work-intensive, requiring hours of time investigating the threat, documenting the findings, and reporting the outcomes. A large volume of assessments can make it challenging for a school threat assessment team to manage multiple cases over a school year.
Technology can help your student threat assessment teams with collaboration, threat report collection, investigations processes, information collection, and law enforcement coordination, allowing your teams to manage their investigations and related workflows more efficiently. Furthermore, technology allows your student threat assessment team to easily develop a comprehensive targeted violence prevention plan that aligns to your schools’ processes and procedures for providing student threat assessments.
Instead of relying on antiquated pen-and-paper methods to conduct a complex and critically important task, districts should turn to technological resources to streamline the process of threat assessments to make them more efficient and effective through an unencumbered workflow that lets your threat assessment team stay on track to stop the path to violence in your schools.
If you want to learn more about how student threat assessments can help your schools become safer, take a look at our student threat assessment eBook.