Keenan Blog

The goal of the Keenan Blog is to provide a forum where we can come together to discuss issues and cultivate the solutions that will have a meaningful impact on your organization.

When Schools Receive Violent Threats – Do You Know What to Do Next?

Kathy Espinoza 1/26/2016
Kathy Espinoza


Too frequently, we read headlines about shootings at a school or college campus, threats of bombings or other terrorist activity shutting down entire school districts. When students or others make violent threats towards peers, teachers, or the entire school – what steps should you take?

threat_assesment_blog_02Keenan recently conducted an instructional risk management webinar Reducing School Violence – Threat Assessment 101 presented by Dr. Scott Poland, an internationally recognized expert on school crisis.  Dr. Poland is the author of many Keenan SafeSchools and SafeColleges courses. This webinar provided step by step guidelines to help school personnel classify threats and take appropriate investigative actions to reduce the likelihood of violence. If you missed the webinar or would like to review the recording and slides again, please visit the Keenan website.

Topics covered in this webinar included:

  • Lessons learned from a number of national incidents of school violence.
  • Recommendations for threat assessment from the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.
  • Practical strategies and tips that can be implemented to manage threats of violence in your school.

Dr. Poland emphasized that all school threats should be taken seriously, but that assessment of threats and decisions should be made be a multidisciplinary group and guided by common sense. Schools are actually the safest places for students to be and proactive threat assessment is highly effective in preventing violence before it starts. We hope the approaches discussed in the webinar begin to reduce these tragic events on the country’s campuses.