In response to the growing concern over school safety and the need for proactive measures to prevent violence, legislatures across the nation are enacting new bills mandating the establishment of behavioral threat assessment teams in schools. These teams, composed of trained professionals, are tasked with identifying, evaluating, and mitigating potential threats to student safety before they escalate into larger situations.


At their core, they employ a multidisciplinary approach to assess concerning behaviors exhibited by students. Through collaboration with educators, counselors, law enforcement, and mental health professionals, these teams gather information, conduct risk assessments, and develop intervention strategies to address underlying issues contributing to the threats.

To break it down, they:

  • Identify and Assess Students Posing a Threat to Others or Themselves
  • Conduct Risk Assessments
  • Gathering, Document, and Report Relevant Information
  • Provide Interventions and Support
  • Monitor and Follow-Up


Lt. Craig Parker, Commander of the Tuscaloosa PD Behavioral Intervention Team, underscores the importance of such initiatives, stating, “We have all witnessed the unfortunate rise of targeted violence in our communities, large and small. Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management initiatives offer us the opportunity to educate our communities, identify and intercept potentially dangerous situations, and proactively mitigate threats through a multiagency, multidisciplinary program. These initiatives have become a vital tool in a holistic approach to community safety.”

Indeed, the significance of behavioral threat assessment teams cannot be overstated. They not only serve as a proactive measure to prevent violence but also contribute to fostering a supportive and nurturing school environment. By addressing underlying issues such as mental health concerns, trauma, and social difficulties, these teams play a pivotal role in promoting the well-being of students and staff alike.


Identify Key Stakeholders and Establish a Core Team

Determine the key stakeholders who will be involved in the threat assessment team. This typically includes school administrators, teachers, counselors, school psychologists, social workers, and possibly law enforcement or mental health professionals from the community.

Form a core team of individuals who will lead the development and implementation of the threat assessment program. This team should include internal and external representatives who possess expertise in areas such as mental health, behavior management, crisis intervention, and legal issues.

Develop Policies and Procedures

Develop clear and comprehensive policies and procedures for conducting threat assessments. These should outline the purpose of the team, criteria for identifying and assessing threats, steps for intervention and support, confidentiality protocols, and guidelines for documentation and reporting.

Training and Education

Provide training and education for team members on threat assessment principles, risk factors for violence, mental health awareness, crisis intervention techniques, legal considerations, and cultural competency. Training should be ongoing to ensure that team members stay up-to-date on best practices.

Utilize Assessment Tools such as nSide|Assess™

Utilize standardized assessment tools and protocols for evaluating threats and determining appropriate interventions. These tools should be evidence-based and tailored to the specific needs and characteristics of the school community.

Coordinate with External Resources

Establish partnerships with external resources such as mental health agencies, law enforcement, juvenile justice systems, and community organizations. This collaboration can provide additional support and expertise for assessing and managing threats.

Promote Awareness and Communication

Promote awareness of the threat assessment program among students, staff, parents, and the broader school community. Communicate the purpose and procedures of the program, encourage reporting of concerns, and emphasize the importance of creating a safe and supportive school environment.

Evaluate and Improve

Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the threat assessment program and make adjustments as needed. Solicit feedback from team members, stakeholders, and participants to identify areas for improvement and ensure that the program remains responsive to the evolving needs of the school community.

nSide|Assess™ is a revolutionary tool that can greatly assist schools in enhancing the effectiveness of their behavioral threat assessment teams. nSide|Assess simplifies the behavioral threat assessment process by:

  • Eliminating the hassle of dealing with scattered records by consolidating all necessary information in one accessible location.
  • Bringing all the members of your behavioral threat assessment team together & providing guided support through the entire process.
  • Simplifying the collaboration process with external partners.
  • Breaking down barriers to information sharing and providing a central hub for all essential student-related data.
  • Ensuring that all confidential and sensitive information remains safeguarded from unauthorized access.