We provide training on best practices in school threat assessment for school personnel, law enforcement professionals, and mental health professionals. Our school threat assessment training provides hands-on instruction on how to identify, investigate, assess, and manage threatening and potentially dangerous behavior in school. The goal of each training session is to provide participants with information, guidance and materials they need to evaluate, de-escalate, and manage a broad range of threatening behaviors and troubling situations. Participants leave our training sessions with information and tools they can use right away.
In our training, we teach the federal model for school threat assessment developed by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Department of Education (which SIGMA team members co-authored). This model has been used as a foundation for successful threat assessment programs in schools, colleges, and corporations across the country. This federal threat assessment model is now recommended in the federal emergency planning guides for schools, for colleges and universities, and for houses of worship.
Basic School Threat Assessment Training
SIGMA’s Basic School Threat Assessment Training provides foundational instruction in the fundamentals of school threat assessment. Topics include an overview of school crime and school shootings; case studies; major facts about school shootings and implications for violence prevention; building effective school threat assessment programs; using best practice procedures for investigating and evaluating threatening behavior; resources and strategies to manage cases and reduce risk; information-sharing and legal considerations; and tabletop exercises to gain practical experience using school threat assessment procedures.
Advanced School Threat Assessment Training
SIGMA’s Advanced School Threat Assessment Training leads participants through multiple table-top exercises on different fact patterns, providing participants the opportunity to handle threat cases from start to finish, iron out their roles and responsibilities, and hone their procedures and decision-making, all with continuous trainer feedback. In addition to multiple table-top exercises, advanced training also includes discussion of advanced strategies for effective interviewing, red flags for deception in interviewing, and common problems and solutions in implementing school threat assessment programs.
General Awareness Training
General awareness training sessions are offered to help threat assessment teams alert students, faculty, and staff to the array of resources (e.g., the threat assessment team, anonymous reporting mechanisms, counseling services, etc.) that are available to enhance school safety and to support students and staff that may be in need of some assistance. The training, crafted in consultation with the threat assessment team, can be used to inform school personnel and students that violent incidents can be prevented, reinforce the message that threat assessment is about prevention and support; and tell them how and where to relay reports of threat or other concerns they may have.