School Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management

School Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management

 

By Melissa A. Louvar Reeves & Stephen E. Brock

 

While schools are safer today than in years past, one act of school violence is one too many. Recent reports have conveyed the importance of schools developing and implementing protocols and procedures to prevent or mitigate school violence. To assist with this task, this article addresses behavioral threat assessment and management (BTAM) in the K-12 school setting and the school psychologist’s role in risk and threat assessment. Best practices in establishing a K-12 behavioral threat assessment and management process, including the assessment of risk factors and warning signs, identification of concerns, and follow-up interventions and monitoring are discussed. Ethical and legal considerations are also reviewed.

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Dr. Melissa Reeves Ph.D., NCSP, LPC recently served as President of the National Association of School Psychologists (2016-17). She is currently an Associate Professor at Winthrop University, SC in the psychology department and school psychology graduate program and a senior consultant with Sigma Threat Management Associates. Dr. Reeves is a nationally certified school psychologist, licensed special education teacher, licensed professional counselor, and former district coordinator of social/ emotional/behavioral services. She has over 20 years’ experience working in public schools and a private school, in addition to providing mental health services in day and residential treatment settings. Dr. Reeves is a co-author of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum and former Chair of the NASP School Safety and Crisis Response Committee. She travels both nationally and internationally training professionals in the areas of school crisis prevention through recovery, threat and suicide assessment, the impact of trauma on academic achievement, and works with schools on establishing a positive and safe school climate. She has conducted more than 250 workshops and presentations and has also provided consultation and staff development to professionals in the United States Department of Defense Educational Activity Schools located on various military installations. Dr. Reeves is co-author of four books and multiple publications.