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Threat Assessment

HB 123 Requirements

Ohio's 133rd General Assembly enacted House Bill 123, the "Safety and Violence Education Students (SAVE Students) Act," regarding school security and youth suicide awareness education and training.

HB 123 requires each local, city, exempted village, and joint vocational school district to create a threat assessment team for each school building in the district serving grades six through twelve. Each team shall be multidisciplinary, when possible, and may include school administrators, mental health professionals, school resource officers, and other necessary personnel.

Please note, if a school building has a similarly constituted safety team, that team also may serve as the threat assessment team, provided that the team and each member comply with the requirements of this legislation. 

The deadline to implement these teams is March 24, 2023. 

What is Threat Assessment?

According to the National Threat Assessment Center at the United Stated Secret Service, “The goal of a Threat Assessment is to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and identify intervention strategies to manage that risk.” (USSS, NTAC, “Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence” (2018), pp 5.)

Training & Completion Certificates

The OSSC in consultation with ODE and the Attorney General, are required to develop and maintain a list of approved training programs for completion by school threat assessment teams, one of which must be free or of no cost to schools. Programs must be evidence based standards and curriculum requirements specified in HB 123.

Curriculum Requirements

ORC 5502.263 requires “(C) Not later than two years after the effective date of this section, the department of public safety, in consultation with the department of education and the attorney general, shall develop and maintain a list of approved training programs for completion by school threat assessment team members prescribed in section 3313.669 of the Revised Code, one of which must be free or of no cost to schools. Each program approved under this section must be an evidence-based program that provides instruction in the following:

(1) Identifying behaviors, signs, and threats that may lead to a violent act;

(2) Determining the seriousness of a threat;

(3) Developing intervention plans that protect the potential victims and address the underlying problem or conflict that initiated the behavior and assessments of plan results.

Completion of an approved program under this section shall fulfill the training requirements prescribed under section 3313.669 of the Revised Code.”

Evidence Based Definition

Definition of “Evidence-Based”:

According to ORC 5502.263: “(A) As used in this section, "evidence-based" means a program or practice that does either of the following:

(1) Demonstrates a rationale based on high-quality research findings or positive evaluation that such a program or practice is likely to improve relevant outcomes and includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects of the program or practice;

(2) Has a statistically significant effect on relevant outcomes based on:

(a) Strong evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented experimental study;

(b) Moderate evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study; or

(c) Promising evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented correlation study with statistical controls for selection bias.”

Training Requirements

Upon appointment and once every three years thereafter, each team member shall complete an approved threat assessment training program from the approved list.

If members of the team have completed a training program any time after March 24, 2019, that was later approved by the OSSC, this can qualify as the initial training required under this legislation. Any new members of the team are required to complete an approved training program upon appointment.

Completion Certificate

Upon completion of each Threat Assessment team member’s training (every three years) each district building is required to submit proof of completion of an approved training program with their building’s emergency management plan.

Approved Trainings Programs

The below trainings have met the statutory requirements (evidence based and curriculum) and are approved for compliance with HB 123. 

Name of Program Provider In Person or Online Link for More Information
Ohio School Threat Assessment Training (FREE) Ohio Attorney General’s Office Online

Instructions for accessing the training

Safety Assessment and Intervention Training (FREE until Sept 22) Sandy Hook Promise

Online

https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/Safety-Assessment-and-Intervention-Training 
Threat Assessment Management for Schools Educator’s School Safety Network In Person http://eschoolsafety.org/tam
Disrupting Pathways to Violence The Pohl Group In Person www.thepohlgroup.com
Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG): CSTAG Level 1 Training, CSTAG Level 2 Training Navigate 360 Online

https://navigate360.com/safety-solutions/comprehensive-school-threat-assessment-guidelines-training/

Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG)  School Threat Assessment Consultants LLC  In Person  https://www.schoolta.com
School Behavioral Threat Assessment Training  SIGMA Threat Management Associates  Online & In Person https://www.sigmatma.com
Threat Assessments for Schools  Safeguard Risk Solutions  In Person 

https://safeguardrisksolutions.com

Safer Ohio Schools Using Threat Assessment Management  University of Findlay Online & In Person https://www.findlayallhazards.com/
BIT Standards Training, Risk Rubric, Violence Risk Assessment  NABITA  Online & In Person  NABITA - National Association for Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment
Threat Assessment Modules 1 and 2 (FREE for non-members) PublicSchoolWORKS (PSW) Online (Delivered through PSW's Learning Management System (LMS)) https://corp.publicschoolworks.com/program/threat-assessment-and-management/
Identifying Behaviors of Concern and Addressing Levels of Threat (FREE) Lisa Pescara-Kovach, Ph.D. Online & In Person Please email LISA.KOVACH@utoledo.edu to request training.
Threat Assessment Vector Solutions Online https://www.parinc.com/Products/Pkey/390
Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model (FREE) National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), U.S. Secret Service In Person Please email Katie.lord@usss.dhs.gov to request training.

Don’t see your training provider? Send them this bulletin and ask them to apply for consideration. Applications will be reviewed bi-weekly.

Model Policy & Protocol

The OSSC is required to develop a model policy for threat assessment for schools to use in their emergency management plans. The OSSC anticipates releasing a model policy sometime in 2022. 

The legislation also requires each school building administrator to incorporate a school threat assessment plan and a protocol for the building’s threat assessment team into the building’s existing emergency management plan. Schools are allowed to adopt and adapt the OSSC model policy for this requirement.

Statutory Requirements

ORC 5502.263 requires: “(B) Not later than two years after the effective date of this section, the department of public safety, in consultation with the department of education and the attorney general, shall develop a model threat assessment plan that may be used in a building's emergency management plan developed under section 5502.262 of the Revised Code. The model plan shall do at least the following:

(1) Identify the types of threatening behavior that may represent a physical threat to a school community;

(2) Identify individuals to whom threatening behavior should be reported and steps to be taken by those individuals;

(3) Establish threat assessment guidelines including identification, evaluation of seriousness of threat or danger, intervention to reduce potential violence, and follow-up to assess intervention results;

(4) Establish guidelines for coordinating with local law enforcement agencies and reports collected through the district's chosen anonymous reporting program under section 3313.6610 of the Revised Code and identify a point of contact within each agency;

(5) Conform with all other specifications in a school's emergency management plan developed under section 5502.262 of the Revised Code.”

ORC 5502.263 further requires that “Evidence-based threat assessment processes or best practice threat assessment guidelines created by the national threat assessment center shall be a resource when developing the model threat assessment plan.”

Other Helpful Resources and Guides for Threat Assessment

Secret Service: National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC)

According to ORC 5502.263: “Evidence-based threat assessment processes or best practice threat assessment guidelines created by the national threat assessment center shall be a resource when developing the model threat assessment plan.”


University of Virginia, Dr. Dewey Cornell

THE COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL THREAT ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES (CSTAG)


Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center (REMS)


National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)


National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

The Value of Threat Assessment Teams


SchoolSafety.Gov

Threat Assessment and Reporting (Many resources listed)