Threat Assessment and Management for Educators and Administrators

1.0 Introduction to Threat Assessment and Management (TAM)

Responding to an active shooter event or knowing what to do if an intruder enters the building is certainly a significant concern of teachers and administrators. However, we know that educators are most interested in being proactive, not just reactive. After violent events occur in schools, educators, parents, and community members want to know if there is a more effective way to deal with troubled students and other individuals of concern. Threat Assessment Management (TAM) provides an evidence-based approach toward identifying students who pose a threat and connecting them with appropriate interventions so they can be successful in school.

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide you with an introduction to threat assessment management, and to help you implement what FEMA and the Department of Education call “one of the most useful tools a school can develop…”(U.S. Dept. of Education, 2013, p. 62).

In July of 2018, the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security’s National Threat Assessment Center released a school-specific guide to threat assessment entitled Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence. This publication, as well as the summary brief that accompanies it, provides the foundational underpinnings of this toolkit.

An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence

Summary Brief

Keeping our schools safe involves not just responding to violent events, but working to prevent them as well. Threat assessment management is a means to do just that.