The Value of School Threat Assessment Software
Dewey Cornell, Ph.D.
Threat assessment software is a valuable tool that can yield multiple benefits for schools.
First, a well-designed program can help assure high-quality practice. Threat assessment is a complex process, and good software with definitions and prompts at each step can help team members stay on track as they gather information and move through the decision tree.
Each member of the team can see what information is needed and what factors should be considered at each decision point.
Simple cases can be resolved quickly and, when a case is more serious, the team can readily divide up the necessary safety measures and further assessment steps. Pulling everything together in the case record makes it easy to identify targets for intervention and build a comprehensive management plan. Teamwork is enhanced because everyone has the same information readily available and tasks can be clearly assigned and monitored.
Second, after the threat assessment process is concluded, the clear and complete records generated by the program will make it easy to check on student well-being down the road and to share information when appropriate for follow-up services. Furthermore, these records will stand up to external scrutiny and help protect against liability claims. The Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines is the only threat assessment model tested in controlled studies.
Finally, your records database will allow you to evaluate trends across cases and demonstrate equity and fairness in student outcomes across demographic groups. Annual reports can show stakeholders the extent to which you have averted violence and helped troubled students.
Document your success with software that follows the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines.