草榴社区app

Mental Health Awareness
Threat Assessment

What is Threat Management?

The goal of all school safety efforts is to prevent violence or harm to members of the school community. Threat management uses a methodology that identifies students exhibiting threatening or other concerning behavior, gathers information to assess the risk of harm to themselves or others, and identifies appropriate interventions to prevent violence and promote successful outcomes. The process applies a non-punitive assessment to distinguish between innocuous and serious situations. The aim of the threat management process is to intervene at the earliest stage to provide assistance to students and to alter or disrupt concerning behavior for the benefit of the student and school. 

What Qualifies as a Threat?

A threat is communication or behavior indicating that an individual poses a danger to the safety of school staff or students through acts of violence or other behavior that would cause harm to self or others. A threat includes communication or behavior characteristic of a person who is on the pathway to violence. The threat may be expressed or communicated behaviorally, orally, visually, in writing, electronically, or through any other means. Communication or behavior is considered a threat regardless of whether it is observed by or communicated to the target of the threat, or to a third party, and regardless of whether the target of the threat is aware of the threat. 

A threat is not a communication or behavior that is an obvious joke or unequivocally known by the observer to be innocuous. The school personnel’s personal knowledge of the person making the statement or exhibiting the behavior, as well as the person’s age and history of exhibiting such behaviors or making such statements, are factors that should be considered in determining whether the communication or behavior constitutes an actual threat. 

What guides our district threat assessment process?

Frequently Asked Questions

The school-based threat management process involves:  

1. Identification of threatening or concerning behavior and reporting to the SBTMT Chair;  

2. Determining if the reported claim has a factual basis;  

3. Evaluating the reported claim for threat of harm to self, others, or both;  

4. Determining if the case should be referred to the full SBTMT;  

5. Initial assessment to assign a preliminary level of concern and determine if interim SSMP is necessary; 

6. Information gathering through interviews and data collection;  

7. Assigning a concern level  

8. If not unfounded or low level of concern, evaluating for Medium or High level of concern; 

9. Referral to DTMT for some Medium cases and all High levels of concern; 

10. Creating SSMP, when appropriate; and  

11. Continual monitoring of the student during the SSMP period and continual evaluation of the SSMP to ensure it is effective 

Levels of Concern-The classification of an individual is based on their presenting risk and needs and balanced against protective factors. Levels of concern (also called threat levels) are classified as Low, Medium, or High. 

Unfounded Determination: An unfounded determination means that there is not a sufficient factual basis to support the allegation, or it can be determined that the threats were never made; what was said was clearly not a threat; or the incident/behavior of concern did not happen or rise to the level of posing a threat or concern of harm to the school community. The reporting person may simply have been mistaken about the behavior or based upon known facts about the situation, behavior, and context, no risk of violence exists. This unfounded summary disposition should only be used when it is clear and articulable that there is no basis for concern. The case should be advanced to the next step for further evaluation if there is any doubt. 

Low Level of Concern: A Low level of concern designation is appropriate where a person poses a threat of violence or exhibits other concerning behavior that is minimal and it appears that any underlying issues can be resolved easily. This level means the concern for future violence toward another person is low. There may nonetheless be significant concerns about the person but at that time, the concern for violence toward another is at the low end of the spectrum. Low levels of concern in a school setting are generally expressions of anger, frustration, fear, or anxiety that are noticeable but do not represent a serious concern. The person may retract the threat or offer an explanation or apology that indicates no future intent to harm. 

Medium Level of Concern: A Medium level of concern designation is appropriate where the person does not appear to pose an immediate threat of violence, but the person exhibits behaviors that indicate a potential intent to harm or exhibits other concerning behavior that requires intervention. This level suggests that violence toward another may occur, and although the situation is not urgent; violence cannot be ruled out. The threat management team may not have complete or completely accurate information to guide the outcome of the assessment. 

High Level of Concern: A High level of concern designation is appropriate where the person poses a threat of violence, exhibits behaviors that indicate both a continuing intent to harm and an effort to acquire the capacity to carry out a plan, and may also exhibit other concerning behavior that requires immediate intervention and protective measures for the target. This level suggests the student of concern is reaching a critical point on the pathway to violence from which they perceive it may be difficult to turn back. A High level of concern requires immediate and continuing attention from threat management resources to ensure violence does not occur. 


 



 

 

How Do I Report A Threat?

Students, parents, 草榴社区app County 草榴社区app employees, and members of the community have a responsibility to report suspicious activities and potential threats to schools. Any suspicious activity or threat should be promptly reported to one of the following individuals, agencies or reporting tools:

A threat report can be made to:

  • Any school staff member
  • 草榴社区app Administrator
  • 草榴社区app Resource Officer or local law enforcement agencies
  • PCS Mental Health Team Members (727) 774-2131
  • Everyone can report a threat via the following link:
  • - FortifyFL is a suspicious activity reporting tool that allows you to instantly relay information to appropriate law enforcement agencies and school officials 24/7.

*** If Imminent danger, call 911 ***

If you see something, say something. Effective threat management relies on all school employees, volunteers, and service providers reporting any threat or concerning behavior. All students, parents, guardians, and caregivers are strongly encouraged to report any threat or concerning behavior. 

 

Every school district in Florida has a District Threat Management Coordinator (DTMC) and District Threat Management Team (DTMT). Additionally, every traditional and charter school in the county has a 草榴社区app Based Threat Management Team (SBTMT). 

The DTMC’s primary role is to oversee the district’s harm prevention and threat management program. The threat management coordinator is the direct liaison between the school district and the Department of Education’s statewide threat management coordinator. Pursuant to Rule 6A-1.0019, F.A.C., the DTMC is responsible for ensuring the fidelity of the district’s threat management program, which includes ensuring that all school threat management team personnel are appropriately trained. The DTMC also serves on the District Threat Management Team. 

The 草榴社区app County 草榴社区app District DTMT is a multidisciplinary team that receives referrals from the SBTMTs and assesses serious situations. The DTMT includes the District Threat Management Coordinator, persons from school district administration and persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, and law enforcement. The district threat management coordinator is the Chair of the DTMT. The DTMT may assist the SBTMTs in providing on-going effective threat management, or after assessing the matter, the DTMT may refer the case back to the SBTMT for it to manage. The DTMT will also support the charter schools sponsored by or under contract with their school district. 

The SBTMT is a multidisciplinary team at the school level and is comprised of at least four members with expertise in counseling; school instruction; law enforcement; and a school administrator. The SBTMT must also include a member with personal knowledge of the student of concern that is being evaluated by the team. Additional members of the team may be assigned by the school principal, or equivalent, as long as these four required roles are filled. 

The Student Support Management Plan (SSMP) is not punitive or part of a disciplinary process. Rather, the SSMP uses direct and indirect interventions to help create an environment less likely to produce violence. The SSMP is implemented by the threat management team at the school. The SSMP identifies mandatory action steps needed to ensure school safety and responses that can help support the student of concern and make positive outcomes more likely. The action steps selected will comprise the SSMP. The resources and other support the student needs will differ depending on the information gathered during the assessment, including the mental health interviews when applicable and identified protective measures. Under the SSMP, a student of concern may be required to refrain from certain conduct or to engage in certain actions designed to prevent harm to others. The SSMP is established for a specified period based on the level of concern and is reviewed each month by the 草榴社区app-Based Threat Management Team (SBTMT). 

 

Issues of Confidentiality

Student education records are official and confidential documents protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment, defines education records as all records that schools or education agencies maintain about students. FERPA gives parents the right to review and confirm the accuracy of education records. These rights transfer to the student when the student turns eighteen years old or attends a postsecondary institution. FERPA relates to records/documents and not observations or direct communications.

There are exceptions of protections of FERPA including issues of health or safety emergency. 草榴社区app administrators, teachers and other staff may share information including educational records with other school officials that have a need to know the information; this includes the members of the threat assessment team.

Whenever safety concerns exist, schools may share information with others outside the school such as parents, law enforcement officials, and mental health professionals.

 

Threats to our schools are a growing problem that cannot be tolerated. We are partnering with local law enforcement agencies to crack down on people who make threats. Any threat whether verbal, written, emailed or posted online, is illegal and has serious consequences:

Even fake threats have real consequences. Parents, please talk to your children about this serious matter and potential consequences of such behavior:

  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Felony record

Florida State Statutes: False Reporting

  • FLA. STAT. § 790.163 (2018) False report concerning planting a bomb, an explosive, or a weapon of mass destruction, or concerning the use of firearms in a violent manner; penalty.
  • FLA. STAT. § 790.164 (2018) False reports concerning planting a bomb, explosive, or weapon of mass destruction in, or committing arson against, state-owned property, or concerning the use of firearms in a violent manner; penalty; reward.