A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
The tragic events of the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the May 18, 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, demonstrated the ongoing need to provide leadership in preventing future school attacks. As such, the Department of Homeland Security along with many others from across government, law enforcement and communities nationwide has redoubled its efforts and is poised to continue enhancing school safety and security. This page offers a starting place for DHS documents, resources and tools related to school safety and security.
As part of the Department’s efforts, the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) created an operational guide that provides actionable steps that schools can take to develop comprehensive targeted violence prevention plans for conducting threat assessments in schools.
The goal of a threat assessment is to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and identify intervention strategies to manage that risk. This process begins with establishing a comprehensive targeted violence prevention plan that requires schools to:
Establish a multidisciplinary threat assessment team of school personnel including faculty, staff, administrators, coaches, and available school resource officers who will direct, manage, and document the threat assessment process.
Define behaviors, including those that are prohibited and should trigger immediate intervention (e.g., threats, violent acts, and weapons on campus) and other concerning behaviors that require a threat assessment.
Establish and provide training on a central reporting system such as an online form on the school website, email address, phone number, smartphone application, or other mechanisms. Ensure that it provides anonymity to those reporting concerns and is monitored by personnel who will follow-up on all reports.
Determine the threshold for law enforcement intervention, especially if there is a safety risk.
Establish threat assessment procedures that include practices for maintaining documentation, identifying sources of information, reviewing records, and conducting interviews. Procedures should include the following investigative themes to guide the assessment process:
Develop risk management options to enact once an assessment is complete. Create individualized management plans to mitigate identified risks. Notify law enforcement immediately if the student is thinking about an attack, ensure the safety of potential targets, create a situation less prone to violence, redirect the student’s motive, and reduce the effect of stressors.
Create and promote a safe school climate built on a culture of safety, respect, trust, and emotional support. Encourage communication, intervene in conflicts and bullying, and empower students to share their concerns.
The Campus Resilience Program Resource Library aims to provide members of the academic community with access to resources, strategies, guidelines, and templates to address a variety of different vulnerabilities and risks.