The United States Secret Service and United States Department of Education announced the release of the latest tool for educators and communities to improve school safety. The interactive CD-ROM, titled A Safe School and Threat Assessment Experience: Scenarios Exploring the Findings of the Safe School Initiative , is designed to complement the final report on the Safe School Initiative (SSI).

Patterned after the Secret Service's previous operational studies and research into targeted violence and implemented through the U.S. Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center and the U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug Free Schools Program, the SSI examined 37 incidents involving 41 school attacks that had occurred between 1974 and 2000. The study found that school attacks are rarely impulsive. Rather, they are typically thought out and planned in advance. One of the key recommendations of the SSI was that schools form multidisciplinary threat assessment teams to assist with identifying, assessing and managing students who may pose a threat of targeted violence.

It is for such school-based threat assessment teams that the interactive CD has been developed. Through the use of two hypothetical school-based scenarios, school threat assessment team members may further develop their skills in conducting a virtual threat assessment inquiry. The interactive format visually integrates the study findings, threat assessment processes and implications for prevention. In addition to the scenarios, this CD also contains key research findings, interviews with study authors and practitioners and links to additional resources.

“We are committed to sharing our expertise in threat assessment and violence prevention so that others, especially our nation's schools, may benefit,” Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said. “I am pleased that this training tool will offer schools and communities additional resources and information that may help them prevent future attacks.”


“We know that when our schools aren't safe, teachers can't teach, and children can't learn," said Deborah Price, Assistant Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. "Schools are safe places; however, they can be made safer. This CD-ROM is a timely and important tool in working to ensure our schools are the safest places possible.”

Beginning in January, the CD will be distributed to law enforcement and school safety personnel across the country and can be ordered via the Department of Education website at www.edpubs.org/.

About the Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center

The National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) was created by the Secret Service in 1998 to provide leadership and guidance to the emerging field of threat assessment. Specifically, NTAC offers timely, realistic, useful and effective advice to law enforcement and other professionals and organizations with responsibilities to investigate and/or prevent targeted violence.

About the Department of Education's Safe and Drug Free Schools Program

The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools administers, coordinates and recommends policy for improving the quality and excellence of programs and activities designed to keep our schools safe and drug-free. The office, established in 2002, provides financial assistance for drug and violence prevention activities and activities that promote the health and well being of students in elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education.

To access the final report and the threat assessment guide for the Safe School Initiative, visit www.secretservice.gov/ntac.shtml.