Threat Assessment
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Threat Assessment

Threat assessment is a structured group process used to evaluate the risk posed by a student or another person, typically as a response to an actual or perceived threat or concerning behavior. Threat assessment as a process was developed by the Secret Service as a response to incidents of school violence. Washington follows the model initially developed by the Secret Service. Information about the Secret Service model is available on the National Threat Assessment Center.

The primary purpose of a threat assessment is to prevent targeted violence. The threat assessment process is centered upon on analysis of the facts and evidence of behavior in a given situation. The appraisal of risk in a threat assessment focuses on actions, communications, and specific circumstances that might suggest that an individual intends to mount an attack and is engaged in planning or preparing for that event.

In a situation that becomes the focus of a threat assessment inquiry or investigation, appropriate authorities gather information, evaluate facts, and make a determination as to whether a given student poses a threat of violence to a target. If an inquiry indicates that there is a risk of violence in a specific situation, authorities conducting the threat assessment collaborate with others to develop and implement a plan to manage or reduce the threat posed by the student in that situation.

State Law on Threat Assessment

  • RCW 9A.04.110 Definition of "Threat"
  • RCW 9A.46 Harassment
  • RCW 28A.320.128 Notice and disclosure policies -- Threats of violence -- Student conduct -- Immunity for good faith notice -- Penalty.
  • RCW 13.04.155 Notification to school principal of conviction, adjudication, or diversion agreement -- Provision of information to teachers and other personnel -- Confidentiality.
  • RCW 28A.225.330 Enrolling students from other districts -- Requests for information and permanent records -- Withheld transcripts, effect -- Immunity from liability -- Notification to teachers and security personnel -- Rules.
  • RCW 13.40.215 Juveniles found to have committed violent or sex offense or stalking -- Notification of discharge, parole, leave, release, transfer, or escape -- To whom given -- School attendance -- Definitions.
  • RCW 9.41.280 Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities -- Penalty -- Exceptions.

Threat Assessment Models:


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   Updated 8/28/2018

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