Resource Officers and school staff updated on the treat assessment process

Presenter shown at display board introducing the topic.

Knox County’s school resource officers joined the staff at Knox Central High School for updates and training on the threat assessment process.

The training was provided by the Kentucky Center for School Safety.  Trainers Linda Tyree, Wes Cornett, and Dan Orman worked with those in attendance to further implement the threat assessment process.

What is a school threat assessment?  It’s a systematic process that is designed to identify persons of concern, gather information and investigate, assess the person and situation, and manage the person and situation.

The primary objective of a student threat assessment should be providing a student with help and working to ensure positive outcomes for the student and the community.  – from 2021 Secret Service report, Averting Targeted School Violence.

Officers and school staff in the room learned that it is a collaborative process, involving everyone.

The group studied the pathway to violence and the warning signs that they should be looking for.  It begins with ideation of the threat by the person, planning, preparation, and finally implementation.

Trainers emphasized that the most powerful tool that they have for prevention is students.  Students should feel empowered to report threatening behavior and communicate other concerns to school personnel.

Have concerns that you need to report?  If it is life-threatening, always dial 911 first.  Then tell an adult – whether that is the principal, a teacher, a staff member, or other trusted adults in the school.  At home, parents and caregivers should discuss with their children why it is important to speak up and ensure their children that they will not get in trouble if they come to them, or a school member, to report something they overheard or seen.