Digital Threat Assessment Toolkit
The Basics

1.1 Why Digital Threat Assessment?

The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) recently released the 2019 report, Protecting America’s Schools analyzing targeted school violence. This in-depth analysis found that the majority of school shootings are preventable, as acts are not sudden or impulsive; there is a period of planning involved. The attacker often referenced their intent to carry out their plan through verbal, written, visual, or video communications. The research showed every attacker exhibited concerning behaviors that were either missed, not reported, or not followed-up on prior to their attack, with 74% displaying concerning behaviors online.

Successful threat and risk assessment can only occur if we have a solid understanding of all data available to appropriately assess an individual’s potential for violence. An overall assessment of risk cannot be accurately determined without looking at social media and online activity. Understanding the tools and methods available to identify online threat-related behavior helps with assessing motive, history, and any preparation or plans an individual has been/is making. Threat assessment teams gather the data to determine the level of risk and appropriate intervention for each individual.

This toolkit is a general overview and does not take the place of attending an in-person training. To receive a more in-depth training on DTA, the Texas School Safety Center offers in-person trainings in regions across Texas.

For information on upcoming events, visit the TxSSC Events page.