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SPC > Threat Assessment

Threat Assessment

  • St. Petersburg College has adopted threat assessment procedures developed by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Secret Service in a collaborative effort to help school and college campuses reduce violence and create safe climates.View SPC's Threat Assessment Policy. Faculty can download threat assessment forms on MySPC.

    What is Threat Assessment?

    The primary purpose of a threat assessment is to prevent targeted violence. The threat assessment process is centered on an 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 an event. The central question in a threat assessment inquiry or investigation is whether a student poses a threat, not whether the student has made a threat.

    Faculty, administration, other staff and students must listen respectfully to each other. A school with a culture of two-way listening will encourage and empower students to have the courage to break the ingrained code of silence.

  • Reporting suspicious behavior

    St. Petersburg College has adopted threat assessment procedures developed by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Secret Service in a collaborative effort to help school and college campuses reduce violence and create safe climates.

    Report suspicious behavior by students, employees or visitors to the Provost’s Office:

    • Caruth Health Education Center, Provost Office, 727-341-3666 or 341-3602
    • Clearwater Campus, Provost Office, 727-791-2475 or 791-2492
    • EpiCenter, Security Dispatch, 727-719-2560
    • Seminole Campus, Provost Office, 727-394-6111 or 394-6109
    • St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, Provost Office, 727-341-4656 or 341-4349
    • SPC Allstate Center, Provost Office, 727-341-4530 or 341-4143
    • SPC Downtown, Provost Office, 727-341-4245 or 341-7966
    • SPC Midtown, Communications, 727-341-7158
    • Tarpon Springs Campus, Provost Office, 727-712-5742 or 712-5720

    Or call Security Dispatch at 727-791-2560

    Early warning signs

    It is not always possible to predict behavior that will lead to violence. However, educators and sometimes students can recognize certain early warning signs. In some situations, and for some students, different combinations of events, behaviors and emotions may lead to aggressive rage or violent behavior toward themselves or others. A good rule of thumb is to assume that these warning signs, especially when they are presented in combination, indicate a need for further analysis (threat assessment) to determine an appropriate intervention.

    The National School Safety Center identified the following behaviors that could indicate a student’s potential for harming him/herself or others, based on a recent study.

    1. Severe social withdrawal
    2. Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone
    3. Excessive feelings of rejection
    4. Being a victim of violence
    5. Feelings of being picked on and persecuted
    6. Expressions of violence in writings and drawings
    7. Poor or deteriorating performance
    8. Uncontrolled anger
    9. Pattern of impulsive, intimidating or bullying behavior
    10. History of disciplinary problems
    11. Prejudicial attitudes and intolerance for differences
    12. Affiliation with gangs
    13. Access to, possession of, or use of firearms, explosives or weapons
    14. Threats of violence when angry
    15. Preference for books or videos with violent themes
    16. Background of substance abuse, including alcohol
    17. Few or no close friends
    18. Often depressed and has significant mood swings
    19. Has threatened or attempted suicide
    20. Displays cruelty to animals
  • Circumstances that bring a student to official attention

    Some students may bring themselves to the attention of authorities by engaging in communications that cause concern: 

    • A student submits a story for an English assignment about a character who shoots other students in a school setting
    • Students in a video class make a movie about students who bring bombs to school
    • An administrator receives an e-mail stating, I'm going to kill everyone in this asylum
    • The personal webpage of a student has links to web pages with information about explosives

    Other students of concern come to the attention of authorities through second or third parties: 

    • A student reports that he/she has been threatened by another student and has been warned not to tell anyone
    • A neighbor of a student calls campus authorities to report suspicions that the student is experimenting with bomb-making devices or weapons

    In still other cases, students come to the attention of authorities through anonymous communications: 

    • An anonymous call is received through Security to report concerns about the behavior of a student
    • Receipt of an anonymous call that a bomb will go off on one of the campuses
    • An anonymous letter stating remember Virginia Techwarns that "Judgment Day" is coming