School Threat Assessment Training: Assessing and Managing School Threats

STAT: School Threat Assessment Training to prepare you for when you need to respond to threats fast – STAT !

Bomb threats sent by Facebook. School shooting threats sent through multiple international proxy servers. A death threat scribbled on a restroom wall that triggers texting rumors throughout the school community. Parents and media scrambling to your school doorsteps. What should a principal and superintendent do?

A nationwide epidemic of violent school threats is breeding fear, anxiety and frustration for educators, children and parents. While the vast majority of these threats are anonymous and turn out to be hoaxes, they have to be investigated and taken seriously. Hundreds of schools are losing classroom teaching time, police are wasting resources, children are frightened, and parents are angry and alarmed.

“School threats are a fast growing problem. They send fear and panic through a community, create a high degree of ambiguity and uncertainty around school safety, and divert first responder resources from community needs to schools for what typically turns out to be a hoax,” says Dr. Ken Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services, who directed our groundbreaking national study of school shooting and bomb threats across the country.

We first reviewed 812 school threats across the country during the first five months of the 2014-15 school year. Threats were up 158% since the prior year, when we did the first survey of this kind. Since that time, we have seen a continued uptick in threats and a growing challenge by “swatting threats” to schools that often originate from across state and international borders. Click here to learn more from our groundbreaking national research of school threats.  The lessons learned still apply today!

Dr. Ken shares insights in this video from our study of rapidly escalating violent school threats and what school leaders can do to prevent and manage them, or you may scroll down below now for details on our STAT – School Threat Assessment Training program.

STAT – School Threat Assessment Training helps you assess, manage, and prevent school threats

School administrators, school resource officers, psychologists, social workers, nurses, counselors, school public information and community relations directors, community-based school mental health service providers, and crisis team members are increasingly faced with complex situations where students have made violent threats towards others and their school. Some schools have received very negative publicity for how they managed violent threats, and for failing to share information with authorities and parents. Schools have also been successfully sued over their handling of violent threats.

This one-to-two day workshop is designed to improve awareness and response to threats, including individual student threats, bomb threats, “swatting” school shooting hoaxes, and mass text message rumors of violence. An emphasis will be placed on practical, common-sense steps that school administrators, counselors, threat assessment teams, crisis teams, and safety officials can take for more cognitive, less emotional responses to school threat scenarios.  Key strategies will be highlighted to help schools thoroughly evaluate violent threats, prevent violence, and avoid liability.

Topics may include:

Understanding the diverse and complex scope of school threats, the administrative and political contexts, and communicating safety when threats strike school communities
  • Emerging national threat trends impacting school security and emergency preparedness
  • Findings from our national studies of school threats: Trends in threat content and delivery, and implications for school preparedness planning
  • Understanding and preparing for the threat continuum facing preK-12 schools
  • Swatting: How electronic threat hoaxes are costing local communities thousands and even hundreds-of-thousands of dollars
  • No longer just on the bathroom wall: When electronic school threats cross state and international lines, and the FBI is on your school doorstep
  • Bomb threats: Pre-planning, incident management, and debriefing stages
  • Preventing the disruption of classroom instruction and school activities caused by premature and unnecessary school evacuations and closures
  • Adult threats: Managing threatening situations created by non-custodial parents, terminated employees, disgruntled current employees, irate parents, and community members with grievances targeting schools
  • Political trends: Threat assessment legislative mandates and implications for school management and liabilities
  • Crisis and safety communications for preventing and managing text messages, rumors, and new media threats
  • Strategies for managing parent and media communications when school safety threats go viral
Threat prevention, assessment, and management
  • Lessons in threat assessment and management learned from high-profile national incidents of school violence. Our international expert in school psychology served on national crisis response teams focused on the Red Lake, Minnesota, and Columbine High School shootings
  • Models for school threat assessment: Analysis of psychological assessment tools that have been developed to assess student threats
  • Threat assessment team composition, contextual issues for threat assessment team processes, sample guiding questions for threat assessment teams, threat management procedures, documenting threats, and factors in evaluating student removal, return and monitoring
  • Assessing and managing individual student threats including sample thwarted plots and sample threat assessment failure
  • Step-by-step guidelines in a case format to help school personnel classify threats and take appropriate investigative actions to reduce the likelihood of violence
  • Key roles for various school personnel and the importance of working collaboratively with local authorities
  • Roles of mental health professionals in helping to reduce stressors for the individual who is threatening violence
  • Threat prevention and reduction by best practices from the human side of school safety
  • How to build meaningful relationships and school climates that strengthen belonging, ownership and connectedness among students, educators and support staff
  • Insights into litigation cases where schools have been legally challenged on school threat assessment
  • Case study: How one district student services department strengthened a threat assessment model for practical building level use and developed a district-wide de-escalation workshop
  • Putting the best practices and models to work in the real world of education: Threat management considerations for the principal, the district student services director and the superintendent

Mini-exercises on assessing and managing threat scenarios will be provided throughout the training.  Participants will learn practical strategies and tips that they can implement in their schools to manage threats of violence.

Diverse, multi-disciplinary training team:  Trusted, experienced experts in school security, school psychology, building and district school administration, and today’s communications strategies


Our training team brings decades of front-line school experience you can trust:


Dr. Ken Trump  – Internationally trusted school security expert with more than four decades of preK-12 school security, emergency preparedness, and crisis communications experience in working with urban, suburban and rural school districts.  Ken’s recent doctoral program research at Johns Hopkins focused on the intersection of school administrator strategic crisis leadership with communicating school safety in highly ambiguous and uncertain times.



Dr. Scott Poland – Internationally recognized expert in school psychology who has directed a district school psychology department and responded to some of the nation’s highest-profile school shootings, including Columbine and Red Lake, Minnesota, while also serving as an expert witness on litigation cases.



Dr. Asia R. Jones is an experienced educator with over 30 years of successful leadership in Virginia public schools with student enrollments ranging from 13,000 to 84,000 students. Dr. Jones has facilitated multiple initiatives, conducted workshops, and presented at the local and state level on leadership development, student mental health, dropout prevention, threat assessment, and strategic Multi-Tiered System of Supports.



Our school administration experts join our school security and school psychology experts in developing this multidisciplinary training program.

Visit our “About Us” page to learn more about our presenter team and see why we are the school safety Experts You Can Trust.

Contact Ken Trump to discuss how we can tailor workshops for your school district, regional education office, state education department, professional association or other organization interested in hosting this program.