Threat Assessment Team
In June of 2019, legislation was enacted to assist schools in creating safer environments. One of the acts, Article XIII-E, Threat Assessment was added to the Pennsylvania School Code.
The law states that each school entity (school district, intermediate unit, area career and technical school, charter school, regional charter school, or cyber charter school) shall establish at least one threat assessment team. In accordance with the legislation, the School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC), Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), and key stakeholders from across Pennsylvania developed model procedures and guidance materials to help local schools establish and operate threat assessment teams.
The Superintendent has appointed members to four threat assessment teams, including one that encompasses the entire district and three school-level threat assessment teams. All team members have received extensive training provided by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
What is a Threat?
A threat is a communication or behavior that indicates an individual poses a danger to the safety of school staff or students through acts of violence or other behavior that would cause harm to self or others. The threat may be expressed/communicated behaviorally, orally, visually, in writing, electronically, or through any other means. These actions can be considered a threat regardless of whether it is observed by or communicated directly to the target of the threat or observed by a third party, and regardless of whether the target of the threat is aware of the threat.