Weatherford Independent School District

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Safety and Security » Student Threat Assessment Team

Student Threat Assessment Team

A Message from Bruno Dias, WISD Executive Director of Safety and Security:

This page is intended to provide a partial list of actions, behaviors, and circumstances that may indicate greater risk for targeted violence.   We have developed a threat assessment process aimed at providing students with the help and support they need before unresolved issues, ideations of violence and concerning behaviors escalate.

 

If you have concerns please contact your child’s principal or WISD’s Safety & Security Executive Director Bruno Dias at 817.598.2800 for further assistance. If you have concerns of imminent danger, contact Law Enforcement immediately by calling 911.

Risk Indicators Associated with Targeted Violence

 

Has there been a shift toward a threat of extreme aggression or violence?

Violence is aggressive behavior that is intended to, or results in, serious or lethal injury.

 

Have there been threatening communications suggesting a potential violent attack?

Is the communication an expression that suggests details of planning or ongoing consideration of an attack? Communications may include verbal expressions, artwork, email, internet messaging, texting, written language exercises, or any other medium of communication. Communication can also be made by indirect, veiled, or casual references to possible harmful events, warnings of potential harm, or references to previously occurring violent events such as school or community shootings.

 

Are there indications of a specific target or targets?

Is there an ongoing consideration or focus on a particular person or a group of people?

 

Are there indications of a motive, goal or justification for a serious or lethal attack?

While there can certainly be many motives for acting out violently or aggressively, the most common is the need to establish or re-establish control. It is often disguised as revenge or vendetta for lost love or humiliation and the desire to prove bravery after making a threat or taking a dare. Pay close attention to motive themes of loss, being wronged or excessive anger.

 

Are there any indications of behavior that increase the possibility of violence occurring? Such indications may include a plan, acquiring weapons, rehearsing or practicing the attack, scheduling the attack, or other preparations.

A communication that threatens an attack is only an expression and does not suggest a “posed threat” unless there are behaviors supporting the intent to carry out the attack. Many threats are not stated with clearly expressed language but are indicated by veiled threats and/or behavior that relates to a possible attack. Attack related behavior includes but is not limited to, the following:

  • A plan to carry out a targeted act of aggression against a specific individual or group. A plan would have a sequence of actions necessary for its success. The more plausible the plan the greater the risk.
  • Acquisition of a weapon, the attempted acquisition of a weapon, or research about how to acquire a weapon. If the threat is the use of physical force to the point of serious or lethal injury, then the physical force is the weapon.
  • The rehearsal of the event or a similar event.  Rehearsal is like simulation or practice. Rehearsal can be indicated through art, fantasy games, writing, or film projects. It can also be indicated by the use of movies, internet sites, or video games that have themes and sequences of violence that can serve as a kind of simulation or practice. However, it must be noted that the use of such games or films as entertainment does not lead or cause students to act out violently.  Their use is only attack-related behavior when it serves as rehearsal or practice.
  • Scheduling an attack. Scheduling the act can be indicated through vague communication or actually noted in clear detail. Sometimes the schedule is flexible, awaiting a triggering event (teasing, rejection, loss) that further justifies the violence and locks it in as the only solution.

 

Are actions and behaviors consistent with communications?

If threats are made but not accompanied by attack-related behaviors, motives, or a specific target(s) consistent with that threat, then the risk decreases.

 

Is there peer collaboration?

Are peers aware of, or concerned about, a potential attack?  Are peers encouraging the attack?

 

Are alternatives and emotional coping reserves decreasing?

For example, a person who is low on coping strategies or alternatives may consider violence to be the only option available to solve problems.

 

Are there indications of suicidal thoughts?

Is there a history of suicidal ideation, gestures, references, or intent? A desire to die, be killed by another, or commit suicide, combined with a threat to harm others, increases the overall risk. This is especially true if the suicidal behavior is one feature of a plan to kill others and carry out revenge or justice. If there is a risk of suicide, seek out advice and assessment from a doctor, mental health professional, or contact local available resources. (See back of brochure)

 

Are there personality or behavioral traits, family dynamics, school system issues, or social dynamics that lead to a more vulnerable and potentially dangerous situation?

Reckless and vindictive behavior, family dysfunction, academic failure, and social crisis are all risk factors that can aggravate an already at-risk situation.

Additional Local Resources:

 

WISD

Anonymous Information Sharing “Roos Eyes Open” App - Download our P3 App or visit our website at P3 tips.com to send your anonymous tip.

 

Safety and Security Department:                   817.598.2800

 

Law Enforcement    

Weatherford Police Department:                   817.598.4023

Emergency Response Dial:                            911

Parker County Sheriff’s Office:                     817.594.8845

Child Abuse Hotline:                                     800.252.5400

 

Mental Health Services        

Safe Harbor:                                                   817.441.9345

Excel Center of Millwood:                            972.422.5939

Excel Center of Willow Park:                        817.678-8808

Mobile Crisis Outreach Team:                       877.422.5939

Suicide Prevention Lifeline:                          800.273.8255