Frequently Asked Questions

What is threat assessment? Behavioral threat assessment is a multidisciplinary, fact-based, systematic process designed to identify, assess, and manage potentially dangerous or violent situations. The threat assessment process is method by which we can try to identify students who have started or are progressing on the pathway to violence.
Why does the school district conduct threat assessments?
The Spencerport Central School District takes the safety and security of all students and staff members very seriously.  As a result, an investigation of direct, indirect, veiled and vague threats is conducted.  The investigation and assessment process are designed to protect the needs of both the alleged victim and alleged offender.
How is a threat assessment conducted? The threat assessment process is a fact-based analysis of the specific plausible details contained within the threat itself. The analysis should also consider the circumstances surrounding the threat as well as other external information gained from sources through interviews, fact gathering, record reviews, and other means necessary to gain a full picture of the risk an individual poses at the given time. 
When does a threat assessment occur?
Investigations to determine whether a student poses a threat of violence occur directly following the report.  All cases are reviewed on a consistent basis by threat assessment support teams at the district and building level.  
Who conducts threat assessments? Each school building has a multi-disciplinary threat assessment team with members trained in conducting threat assessments.
What does the team do? The purpose of the TAST team is to identify, evaluate, and address potential threats to help schools distinguish between incidents where a student made a threat that is not actually legitimate (with no intent to harm) and other incidents in which the student does pose an actual threat of targeted violence.
Will my child be disciplined? Maybe. Depending on the facts of the incident and the student discipline process, a student may receive discipline for conduct which is ultimately deemed threatening to others. However, the threat assessment process is not intended to result in discipline, instead, the goal is to pair the student with proper school and community-based intervention and supports. 
Are parents involved in the process? Depending on the behavior and the willingness of parents to engage in the conversation, parents are sometimes invited to discuss the threatening behavior with the administrator or team member. It can sometimes be difficult for parents to discuss their child's behaviors at school or at home. However, this conversation can help reveal leakage events which could help identify students who are on the pathway to violence, or it could provide a clearer picture on the type of supports the district can put in place to support the students.
What is leakage? Leakage can be actions, statements, events, etc., that when coupled with other actions show a student is on the pathway to violence and needs intervention and support. For more information please see our page on the pathway to violence.