Further Resources for Threat Assessment Guide

November 2014 | 0 Comments  Average 0 out of 5

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Campus Security

The following federal, state, and professional organizations issued reports examining campus security in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. These reports are recommended reading particularly for those institutions located in the states that have issued a report. Each report concludes that threat assessment teams are a proactive measure to prevent campus violence.

American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Perspectives, “Balancing Student Privacy, Campus Security & Public Safety: Issues for Campus Leaders,” Winter 2008.

Campus Life and Safety and Security Task Force. Final Report. January 15, 2008.

Campus Security Task Force. Final Report. October 2007.

Gubernatorial Task Force for University Campus Safety. Report on Findings and Recommendations. May 24, 2007.

International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Agencies (IACLEA). IACLEA Special Review Task Force. Overview of the Virginia Tech Tragedy and Implications for Campus Safety: The IACLEA Blueprint for Safer Campuses. April 18, 2008.

Missouri Campus Security Task Force. Securing Our Future: Making Colleges and Universities Safe Places to Learn and Grow, Report on Findings and Recommendations. August, 21, 2007.

National Association of Attorneys General, Task Force on School and Campus Safety. Report and Recommendations. September 2007.

University of California, Office of the President. The Report of the University of California Campus Security Task Force. January 2008.

University of North Carolina. UNC Campus Safety Task Force Report. November 2007.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and United States Department of Education. Report to the President on the Issues Raised by Virginia Tech. June 13, 2007.

Virginia Tech Review Panel. Mass Shooting at Virginia Tech: Report of the Review Panel presented to Governor Kaine. August 2007.

Virginia Tech Working Group on the Interface between Virginia Tech Counseling Services, Academic Affairs, Judicial Affairs and Legal Systems. Presidential Internal Review. August 17, 2007.

Threat Assessment


Dunkle, John H.; Silverstein, Zachary B.; and Warner, Scott L. “Managing Violent and Other Troubling Students: The Role of Threat Assessment Teams on Campus.” Journal of College and University Law 34(3), 2008.

Smith, Helen; Thomas, Sandra P.; and Parker, Carol. “Violence on Campus: Practical Recommendations for Legal Educators.” Oklahoma City Law Review 32(443), Fall 2007.

Williamson, Ben. “The Gunslinger to the Ivory Tower Came: Should Universities Have a Duty to Prevent Rampage Killings?” Florida Law Review 60(895), 2008.


Gene Deisinger, Marisa Randazzo, Daniel O’Neil, and Jenna Savage. The Handbook for Campus Threat Assessment and Management Teams, Applied Risk Management, 2008.

The book provides guidance on how to create a campus threat assessment team, what principles guide the threat assessment process, tips for identifying students or employees of concern, and intervention strategies for preventing violence or assisting those in need.

de Becker, Gavin. The Gift of Fear. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1997.

This book explains how to identify the warning signals of a potential attacker and recommends strategies for dealing with the problem before it becomes life threatening. This book is recommended for all members of the institution’s threat assessment team.

Langman, Peter. Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

The author studies the psychological make-up of ten different school shooters. After reviewing the personality, environment, and upbringing, he places them into three psychological categories. The study is instructive on identifying the early signs of an individual who is in distress and may be contemplating homicide.

Newman, Katherine S.; Fox, Cybelle; Roth, Wendy; Mehta, Jal; and Harding, David. Rampage: The Social Roots of Shootings. New York: Basic Books, 2004.

This resource contains an in-depth sociological study of two pre-Columbine shootings.

Government Reports

Fein, R.; Vossekuil, B.; Pollack, W.; Borum, R.; Modzeleski, W.; and Reddy, M. Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creatin Safe School Climates. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, and U.S. Secret Service, National Threat Assessment Center, 2002. 

This companion guide to the final Safe School Initiative report gives practical guidance on how to create a safe school climate and implement a threat assessment process at K-12 schools.

O’Toole, Mary Ellen. The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective. Quantico, VA: United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, August 2000.

This monograph presents a model threat assessment process for K-12 schools using the principles developed by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, its 1999 symposium on school shootings, and a review of
school shooting cases.

Pollack, William S.; Modzeleski, William; and Rooney, Georgeann. Prior Knowledge of Potential School-Based Violence: Information Students Learn May Prevent a Targeted Attack. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education, May 2008. 

A follow-up study to the Safe School Initiative report that found that some students knew what the shooters were planning. This pilot study interviewed friends, classmates, siblings, and others in whom school shooters confide their ideas and plans. The goal of the study was to reveal barriers that may prevent children from reporting information about a potential incident.

Vossekuil, B.; Fein, R.; Reddy, M.; Borum, R.; and Modzeleski, W., The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program, and U.S. Secret Service, National Threat Assessment Center, 2002.

Following the attack at Columbine High School in 1999, the Secret Service and the Department of Education initiated the Safe School Initiative (SSI) to research the thinking, planning, and other pre-attack behaviors engaged in by attackers who carried out school shootings. The SSI findings support the application of a threat assessment process by educational institutions.

Higher Education Websites

Many higher education institutions with student threat assessment teams use their website to communicate important information about the team. The following websites include information about the team mission statements and goals, a listing of team members and contact information, procedures, descriptions of behaviors that should be reported to the team, and the process for submitting reports.

Arizona State University—Student Coordination Committee

Fairleigh Dickinson University—Threat Assessment Team

Goucher College, “Threat Assessment Frequently Asked Questions”

Iowa State University—Department of Public Safety

University of Maryland—Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment Team

Virginia Tech University, “Threat Assessment Team Resources”


The following organizations provide a wealth of resources for law enforcement, security, mental health, and legal professionals concerning threat assessment and related issues.

The Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP)

Specialized Training Services

Information Sharing


Family Policy Compliance Office, United States Department of Education "Dear Colleague Letter about Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) Final Regulations,” Washington, D.C., December 17, 2008.

McDonald, Steven, J. “The Family Rights and Privacy Act: 7 Myths — and the Truth.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 18, 2008.

The Jed Foundation, “Student Mental Health and the Law: A Resource for Institutions of Higher Education.” New York, NY: The Jed Foundation, 2008.

Tribbensee, Nancy. “Privacy and Confidentiality: Balancing Student Rights and Campus Safety.” Journal of College and University Law 34(393), 2008.
(Also available for download from Westlaw)

University of North Carolina Safety Task Force Report to the President. “Attachment A: Sharing Information Concerning University Students When There Is a Perceive Risk of Danger to Self or Others: A Summary of Applicable Law.” Campus Safety Task Force on Information Sharing, November 2007.


The following websites contain extensive commentary and guidance on FERPA compliance and other FERPA-related resources, such as helpful Q&As, online tutorials, and white papers.

Family Policy Compliance Office
United States Department of Education

Office of the General Counsel
Catholic University of America


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