A Guide to Preventing
WHAT IS A THREAT?
The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education formally defines a threat as: aterroristic threat shall mean a threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to terrorize another, to cause evacuation of a building, or to cause serious public inconvenience, in reckless disregard of the risk causing such terror or inconvenience.
Threats can range from boastful taunts, to harassment, to bullying behavior, to the intent to commit deadly acts.All threats should be taken seriously and assessed to determine the level of risk and danger involved.
Whether you are a teacher, an administrator, a parent, or another caring adult in a young person’s life, you have a role to play when a threat is made. Consider the following suggested actions:
Do not wait to see “what happens.”
Choose a time to talk with the student when you know you will not be interrupted or overheard.
Let the student know what you have heard and! or observed and share your concern for his/her is feeling.
Listen seriously to what s/he tells you; acknowledge the student’s point of view, even if you don’t agree with it.
Ask direct questions such as, “What were you planning to do?,” “How were you planning to do it?,” “When?”
Focusing on what control s/he has in the situation, explore alternative ways to resolve conflict and to change circumstances.
Explain that you need to document and refer the incident to the student’s family and to school officials.
Refer to administration and to helping professionals in the school building (e.g. Student Assistance Team) and the community.
Establish a partnership with the student, school, family and community.
Inform the family and listen to them when early warning signs are observed.
the family’s rights to privacy.
Always follow up with
the young person, referring
him/her to community helping professionals as appropriate.
Always follow up with the young person, referring him/her to community helping professionals as appropriate.
When tragedies occur, attempts are often made to create a profile of the “type” of person likely to commit such acts. That is not the intent in presenting the following warning signs. These behaviors of concern are offered to raise awareness of the ways in which any young person may demonstrate that he/she needs help.
Warning signs in the school-aged child
•Has trouble paying attention and concentrating
• Often disrupts classroom activities
• Does poorly in school
• Frequently gets into fights with other children in school
• Reacts to disappointments, criticism, or teasing with extreme and intense anger,
blame or revenge
• Watches many violent television shows and movies or plays a lot of violent video games
• Has few friends and is often rejected by other children because of his or her behavior
• Consistently does not listen to adults
• Is not sensitive to the feelings of others
• Is cruel or violent toward pets or other animals
Warning signs in the adolescent/teenage student
• Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
• Excessive feelings of rejection
• Being a victim of violence, including being bullied and/or harassed
• Low school interest; poor academic performance and low attendance
• Expression of violence in writings and drawings
• Possible history of discipline problems
• Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes
• Use of alcohol and/or other drugs
• Inappropriate access to, possession of, or use of firearms
Many thanks to the following for their assistance in writing this brochure:
Safe Schools& Communities
DRUGS DON'T WORK
Physicians’ Health and Education Fund
For more information, call:
DRUGS DON’T WORK!
Hartford, CT 06106
860.523.8042 ext. 36