The Critical Difference™

School Threat Assessment Consultant Services

Our consultants assist schools around the nation in developing student threat assessment programs and training threat assessment teams.

Most acts of mass homicide by student perpetrators are precipitated by communications or behavior that, if properly recognized and assessed, can indicate a potential threat. Considering the frequency of school shootings by student perpetrators (over 59%), implementing a formal system for recognizing, reporting, and assessing threatening behavior is a crucial first line of defense against active shooter violence.

To assist in recognizing and effectively responding to threatening situations, our consultants can assist the development of a Student Threat Assessment System (STAS) customized with consideration to the unique aspects of organizational structure and resources of your school.

The CIS Approach to Student Threat Assessment in Schools

In response to the school shootings of the 1990’s (which were by percentage overwhelmingly committed by students), the US Secret Service and National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) initiated a program in 2001 to study the characteristics and behavior of perpetrators in order to provide schools with guidance in identifying and managing threats before they escalate into violence. The product of this study was the Safe School Threat Assessment guidelines published in 2002.  Over the past two decades, researchers have added further to the body of research on school violence by providing a rich foundation of knowledge to aid in the challenging process of discerning genuine threat situations from transient circumstances.

The Student Threat Assessment Systems developed by our consultants are based on best practices as promoted by the US Secret Service and the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP). Our methodology is based on the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) model, as officially adopted in several states, and integrates further research about targeted violence and pre-attack behavior exhibited by student-aged perpetrators.

Consulting Assistance in Developing a School-Specific Threat Assessment System

Developing a Student Threat Assessment System requires establishing a framework of policies, procedures, and management systems to proactively reduce the risk of a student progressing on the psychological pathway to targeted violence. When engaged as consultants, our team works in collaboration with school officials to lay the foundation for the program including:

    • Structuring a School Threat Assessment Team and assigning team member responsibilities
    • Authoring a Student Threat Assessment Plan document that describes procedures for reporting, case intake, screening potential threats, assessment and decision-making, and threat management actions.
    • Developing a documentation system for guiding and recording interviews, investigation activities, assessment findings, threat management actions, and case tracking.

When the Student Threat Assessment System plan is complete and ready for implementation, a training session is conducted for all school staff members assigned to the STATS team. As part of this training session, a tabletop exercise is conducted to demonstrate how the assessment process works in practical application.

The video below provides an overview of the psychological pathway to targeted violence in schools, threat assessment principles, and risk management options.

On-Call Consultant Assistance during Student Threat Assessments

In addition to our services in developing threat assessment programs, CIS consultants provide on-call assistance to Florida schools in conducting student threat assessments. See our Student Threat Assessment Services page for more details.

Student Threat Assessment: Our Methodology

The following video provides an overview of the student threat assessment process and some of the factors encompassed in the threat assessment programs we design for schools.

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Learn more about our experience and school security expertise...

Contact Us 

Contact us to discuss your school’s needs by calling Tel. +01 (727) 461-9417 or by completing the following form:


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