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Operationalizing School Behavioral Threat Assessment: Enhancing a Statewide Violence Prevention Model through Targeted Technical Assistance

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,560,987)

Texas State University, which houses the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC), proposes to expand Operationalizing School Behavioral Threat Assessment (OSBTA) technical assistance workshops to serve at least 30 percent of public school districts in Texas, prioritizing those with heightened needs, such as rural districts, districts with 40 percent or more low socioeconomic status (SES) students, and districts with fewer than 3 years with a functioning school behavioral threat assessment (SBTA) team. During these sessions, SBTA district- and campus-level teams will meet with an SBTA specialist with theoretical knowledge and practical experience related to SBTA. Using data collected during the intake process and throughout the session, the specialist will provide targeted guidance and resources customized to the unique needs of each district, including an action plan with a timeline and level of urgency for each action. Sessions will include a focus on intervention management and the importance of mental health support for students in need. As a result of attending the OSBTA workshop, it is expected that the quality of SBTA implementation and threat assessment outcomes will improve. These improvements are expected to result in increases in referrals for mental health support, decreases in violent threats and involvement of law enforcement, and decreases in exclusionary discipline over time. Shifts in viewpoints of SBTA team members are also expected, including more holistic perceptions of how to resolve problematic behavior and reduced support for zero-tolerance policies, both of which are associated with more positive disciplinary outcomes for students over time.

Date Created: September 27, 2023