Imagine a student writes "I'm going to blow up your school" or "I'm going to kill my professor" on Facebook? What would your reaction be? Many people move right to "That student should be expelled!". However, this initial reaction may not yield the results you were hoping for. This webinar will address the dangers of adopting a zero-tolerance policy of expulsion from school for students, faculty and staff who communicate a direct threat.
Zero tolerance policies attempt to keep the college or university safe from a conduct, judicial affairs and legal perspective. The student violated the code of conduct by making a threat. Allowing the student to stay enrolled creates a potential for a lawsuit for the university if the student were to follow through with his threat.
If a student violates the code of conduct by making a threat, allowing the student to stay enrolled creates a potential for a lawsuit for the university if the student were to follow through with his threat. Zero tolerance policies attempt to keep the college or university safe from a conduct, judicial affairs, and legal perspective. However, Scalora, Simons and Vansly write in their 2010 FBI Bulletin, “Do not rely on expulsion except as a last resort and unless absolutely necessary to ensure campus safety, authorities should avoid the temptation to simply expel students of concern to quickly resolve a risk. Isolated from other contingency and safety planning, this strategy sometimes can worsen matters. The final humiliation of expulsion may serve as a precipitating, or triggering, stressor in the subject’s life and propel the marginalized and hostile individual toward violence” (p.7).
Simply expelling a student under the authority of a zero tolerance policy creates the potential to take an upset, frustrated student and turn them into a rage-filled and potentially vengeful student. Careful assessment, intervention, and monitoring are the tools that are most effective in mitigating threats of violence on campus. While separating the student from campus may give an illusion of safety, there are numerous examples where angry, disgruntled, and disempowered individuals come back to campus to seek their revenge.
Join us to learn ways to better identify at-risk students on your campus. We will discuss how to view violence and risk within a contextual threat assessment framework rather than through profiling or list-based perspective. Focus will be on connection and assessment of these students in order to better gather data and manage risk. Learn the basic steps involved in threat assessment to better determine the nature and immediacy of the risk presented by the communicated threat. We will also explore common mistakes in terms of risk and threat assessment on campus and learn evidence-based methods to improve safety on your campus.