Finally – someone gets it! The Oregon State Police Task Force on School Safety recommended the implementation of a statewide threat assessment system in all public schools. This recommendation will be one of two top priorities for the legislation come February.
In June of 2013, FEMA and Department of Education called Threat Assessment Management “one of the most useful tools a school can develop…”. Two and a half years later, very few schools have this critical tool that allows us to identify, assess, and manage individuals who are risk for violence against themselves or others.
Keep in mind that while school shootings are driving this scenario, threat assessment provides appropriate support and interventions for a variety of potentially dangerous behaviors from self-harm to risk taking behaviors to shootings. It’s a tool that allows us to effectively prevent events before they occur, rather than just picking up the pieces afterwards. Even better – it’s cost effective and sustainable.
Let’s hope that come February, Oregon builds upon the successful threat assessment team model already in place in some districts. Their schools will be a great deal safer as a result. Now – when will the rest of the states get clued in?