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Board Policy 2952 - Behavior Threat Assessment

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Prince George’s County is committed to providing safe and supportive learning and working environments for students and staff. Threats, threatening behavior or acts of violence Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) school property and at school-sponsored activities will not be tolerated.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to establish and maintain a behavior threat assessment process that provides appropriate measures to identify, assess, and intervene when an individual’s behavior may pose a threat to the safety of the school, students in the school or staff members in the workplace; to protect and support potential victims; and to provide assistance, as needed, to the individual being assessed, including: positive interventions, restorative approaches, supports and provide wraparound services involving school and community resources.

This policy is designed to comply with the requirements of the model state policy and provisions of the Maryland Safe to Learn Act.

III. Definitions

  1. Behavior Threat Assessment – A comprehensive structured group process emphasizing an appraisal of observed (or reasonably observable) behaviors to identify, assess and manage the risks of threats of targeted violence posed by an individual or group.
  2. Imminent threat - An immediate threat of serious violence toward others that requires containment, action or intervention to protect identified or identifiable target(s).
  3. Restorative Approaches - Practices that prevent and repair harm through dialogue that addresses behavioral consequences in the form of individual and/or collective accountability to promote safe school environments for students, staff members, and families. The practices include all stakeholders (students, staff members, parents, and community partners) in the process to build and maintain a sense of belonging, safety, and social responsibility in the school community. In PGCPS it may look like, but is not limited to, restorative chats/questions, circles, academic circles, peer mediation, and community conferencing.
  4. Threat – An expression of an intent to cause physical harm to someone. The threat may be expressed/communicated behaviorally, orally, visually, in writing, electronically, or through any other means; and is considered a threat regardless of whether it is observed by or communicated directly to the target of the threat, observed by or communicated to a third party, or the target of the threat is aware of the threat.

Student protests or other activities where students are lawfully exercising their first amendment rights are not considered "threats" under this Policy.

IV. Standards

  1. System-level Behavior Threat Assessment Oversight Team

    The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) shall establish a school system-level oversight team whose functions include, but are not limited to:

    1. Providing support to and oversight of the school-based behavior threat assessment teams;
    2. Maintaining processes for effective information sharing between PGCPS and community mental health and law enforcement agencies;
    3. Assessing the effectiveness of the behavior threat assessment process throughout PGCPS; and
    4. Recommending changes to policies and procedures to maintain effective behavior threat assessment process reflecting known best practices.
  2. School-based Behavior Threat Assessment Teams

    The CEO shall establish a behavior threat assessment team in each PGCPS school whose functions include, but are not limited to:

    1. Following a process for regular assessment and intervention, including mechanisms for identifying, assessing and intervening with individuals whose behaviors may pose a threat to the safety of a school or to student or staff;
    2. Monitoring and responding to information received about a behavior, statement or plan that may pose a threat of violence at school or a school- sponsored activity;
    3. Providing guidance to students and staff regarding recognition of potentially threatening behavior and processes for reporting threatening behavior; and
    4. Developing a Case Management Plan which is fact-based and person/situation specific, and provides direct communication and engagement with the individual who was assessed to build rapport and relationship, decrease isolation, de-escalate volatile reactions, provide feedback and mentoring, and monitors reactions to grievances, interventions, and precipitating events. The Team will make referrals for assistance and support services, including but not limited to: academic assistance or accommodations, social skills training, restorative approaches including peer mediation, restorative chats, etc., peer coaching/mentoring; school counseling services, and/or outpatient counseling/mental health care.
  3. Any person who exhibits threatening, aggressive or violent behavior in PGCPS, on school property and at school-sponsored activities may be subject to disciplinary or other action, including, but not limited to removal from school property and/or criminal prosecution.
  4. If disciplinary action is recommended following the investigation of a behavior threat under this Policy:
    1. A student may appeal the discipline in accordance with Board Policy 5115 and the PGCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook; and
    2. An employee may appeal the discipline in accordance with Board Policy 4200.
  5. Nothing in this policy shall preclude school system personnel from acting immediately to address an imminent threat.

V. Implementation Responsibilities

  1. The CEO is responsible for the submission of an annual report for the immediately preceding school year containing data about threats made against any school or school system facility.
  2. The CEO is responsible for equitable enforcement of this Policy in accordance with Board Policy 0125, Nondiscrimination.
  3. The CEO is directed to develop appropriate procedures to implement this policy.

VI. References

  1. Legal

    Maryland Safe to Learn Act, Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §7- 1501 et seq.;
    Education Article §26-102;
    Criminal Law Article §3-1001

  2. Other Board Policies


ADOPTED: June 25, 2020
EFFECTIVE: June 25, 2020

About This Policy

Updated June 25, 2020