Threat Assessment Protocol


The following set of questions is designed to assist in gathering information to evaluate the level of risk and appropriate interventions for issues that come before the Student Response Team (SRT). The intent is to use a standardized protocol to collect a set of relevant information for all situations. All information will be handled in a strictly confidential manner and shared only with those UVU representatives that have a need to know.

Members of the SRT may not be able to accurately answer some of the questions below. In that event and when the information is relevant in the particular situation, a decision will be made about whom else to contact and how that contact will be made in an attempt to gather the needed information (see SRT Brief). These questions are organized using the outline provided by the US Secret Service and US Department of Education in their report on managing threatening situations in schools. Thanks as well to the University of Cincinnati for their input.

SRT Committee:

Dean of Students
Police Chief
Director of Judicial Affairs
Sr. Director of Student Health Services

Information Bringing the Individual to Attention

  • What statements and/or behaviors were reported?
  • Who expressed concern about the individual’s actions, behaviors, or comments?
  • What was the context of the situation?
  • Are there any reasons to doubt the accuracy of the information being reported?

Identifying Information about the Individual

  • What is the person’s name, physical description, date of birth, and identification number?
  • What is the person’s permanent address, local address, phone number, and e-mail address?

Background Information about the Individual

  • Does the individual have a history of making direct or indirect threats of harm to other people or property?
  • Is the individual a loner, prefer isolation, or seek to remove self from situations that involve interpersonal contact?
  • Does the individual have a history of holding grudges or reacting to conflicts in a defensive and/or angry manner?
  • Has the individual been involved in any previous incidents that resulted in attention from the UVU Police Department or Student Judicial Affairs? If so, what was the outcome?
  • Has the individual previously engaged in stalking, harassment, or bullying (including but not limited to physically following, telephone calls, emails and other forms of communication, personal confrontations) of a fellow student or a university employee?
  • Does the individual have a criminal record or a known history of violence?
  • Does the individual have a history of violence against intimate partners or other close friends or family?

Current Information about the Individual

  • Is the individual known to be having difficulty coping with a stressful event?
  • Does the individual’s behavior show a lack of respect for the rights of others?
  • Does the individual perceive him/herself as being singled out or treated unfairly?
  • What is the nature and quality of the individual’s current relationships with family, peers, and authority figures?
  • Has the individual’s academic or work performance (including but not limited to attendance, behavior, quality and quantity of output) recently undergone a significant negative change?
  • Has the individual recently shown signs of a deteriorating personal situation, such as social withdrawal, declining state of personal appearance or hygiene, mood changes, altered speech patterns, confusion, extremely high or low energy, preoccupations that disrupt regular functioning, mention of death or suicide?
  • Has the individual recently experienced any significant rejections, personal or relationship losses, or other type of setback that may lead to feelings of intense stress, despair, or humiliation?
  • Has the individual recently demonstrated signs of difficulty managing anger?
  • Does the individual currently have access to firearms or other weapons (broadly defined), Does the individual have the skills to use them?

Mental Health

Information about Potential Violence-related Behaviors

  • Has the individual produced orally, in writing, or by behavior, communications that suggest a preoccupation with school or work related attacks or identification with perpetrators of school or work-place violence?
  • Has the individual engaged in any behavior, such as weapon-seeking, obtaining illegal drugs, staging rehearsals, or other means of inflicting serious harm to indicate that he or she is planning or making preparations for a violent event against the university or any person associated with the university?
  • Has the individual acted in a self-destructive manner and/or used language that causes concern about the possibility of self-injury?
  • Has the individual made any comments that express or imply consideration of mounting a violent event at the university or against another person?

Motives for Violence

  • To what extent does the individual view violence as a legitimate means to an end?
  • Does the individual seek revenge for perceived injustices done by the university or any person associated with it?
  • Are there any known situational, organizational, interpersonal, or contextual factors that could provoke, encourage, or contribute to a violent episode by the individual?
  • Does the individual show signs of desiring or seeking for attention, recognition, or notoriety?
  • Does the individual indicate a desire to die or be killed?

Possible Targets of Violence

  • Are the communications or actions that are drawing attention directed towards specific individuals, departments, or organizations?
  • Does the individual exhibit any signs of intent to target a specific event or place?
  • Has the individual demonstrated signs of violence (written, oral, or behavioral) against specific groups of students, departments, genders, ethnic groups, religions, or racial groups?