Assessing Student Threats: Implementing the Salem-Keizer System, 2nd Edition is a manual for the application of a threat assessment system that follows the recommendations of the Safe Schools Initiative and the prescriptive outline provided by the FBI. Written from an educator's perspective with contributing authors from Law Enforcement, Public Mental Health, and the District Attorney's office, it contains an introduction to the basic concepts of threat assessment, a review of the research, and an outlined process for the application of a comprehensive, yet expeditious multi-disciplinary system. The book also includes the forms and protocols needed to assess threats, document concerns and interventions, and track the progress of supervision. As extra features, chapters on site security, community safety, domestic violence and teen dating violence, communicating with potential victims, training school resource officers, adult threat assessment, and an adaptation of the system for higher education are included.
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John Van Dreal is the Director of Safety and Risk Management Services for Salem-Keizer Public Schools. He has almost three decades of experience as a School Psychologist conducting psychoeducational evaluation, crisis assessment and intervention, behavioral intervention, and systems consultation. In 1999, he began the development and implementation of the multi-agency Student Threat Assessment System reviewed within this book. Through that collaboration, he has worked daily with educators, law enforcement, trial court personnel, juvenile justice, and mental health personnel in the assessment and management of threats of aggression within the schools and the community. He is a member of the Mid-Valley Student Threat Assessment Team where he served as Chair for 16 years, and is a member of the Marion County Threat Advisory Team. He is a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, ASIS, and regularly provides training and consultation on threat assessment systems and violence prevention to regional and national audiences.Review:
Assessing Student Threats: Implementing the Salem-Keizer System, 2 nd Edition is a user-friendly guide written for those toiling at the grassroots level to construct a viable threat assessment process. It provides information and guidance on a wide spectrum of issues related to the threat assessment process ranging from basic concepts of threat assessment to processes needed for developing, operating, and managing a threat assessment strategy, and it provides the information in a practical useable form.
As an additional bonus, the 2nd edition book delves into other areas that are of growing concern to many school districts, including domestic violence, teen dating, and stalking. The book does an excellent job of describing how the threat assessment process can be used to better identify and provide appropriate services to those involved in these acts.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in developing a threat assessment strategy for their school or community, as well as those who need to update their existing strategy. Adopting processes outlined in the book today could help save lives tomorrow. (William Modzeleski, Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools)
Pundits and academics talk the talk. John Vandreal has walked the walk. The Salem system is the best school based threat assessment system in the United States. I strongly recommend Vandreal and his colleague, Sgt. Dave Okada, as the "go to" individuals for developing a practical, experienced based program. They are two of the best. (Reid Meloy, PhD, ABPP, Forensic Psychologist, co-editor, International Handbook of Threat Assessment; University of California, San Diego)
Based on years of successful experience, John Van Dreal and his colleagues have written a comprehensive, thoughtful, detailed, pragmatic, useful, and readable book on school threat assessment. This book will save lives. (Robert A. Fein, PhD, Forensic and National Security Psychologist, Co-Director, U.S. Secret Service’s Exceptional Case Study Project, Co-Director, U.S/ Secret Service’s Safe School Initiative)
Those who are developing or improving threat assessment programs at their educational institutions would do well to consider the thoughtful perspectives offered by John Vandreal and his colleagues. This book provides detailed guidance, gained through years of experience, on how to both conduct a threat assessment and how to set up such a program. It will most certainly aid in the creation and maintenance of safe environments in our schools and universities. (Bryan Vossekuil, Co-author, “The Safe School Initiative”)
John Van Dreal has long been one of the most critical and innovate thinkers in the assessment and management of threats in an educational setting. Making sense of the complexity involved in managing violently inclined situations at schools is no small task, but Van Dreal and his contributing authors, have done it here. They very effectively identify ways to establish responsibilities, professional roles, and accountability. (Capt. Robert J. Martin, president, Gavin de Becker & Associates, Inc.; founder, Los Angeles Police Department's Threat Management Unit)
, I have found that the Salem-Keizer system is adaptable to school systems of different sizes and resources. As an education practitioner and leader, I’ve found this book to be an essential guide in training staff in threat assessment and the implementation of a threat assessment system. (Greg Lynch, Superintendent, Olympic Educational Service District 114, Bremerton, Washington)
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