Mandatory Creation of Functional Threat Assessment Teams in All Texas School Districts




Ferrara, Peter

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)



Mass shooting events in the school setting are continuing to be a vital issue to law enforcement and educators alike. These incidents extract a tremendous cost to society both in terms of the lives lost and damaged, as well as the financial burden incurred in the response and recovery from these events. The individuals who commit these heinous crimes often engage in patterns of behavior that are both alarming and potentially indicative of their intentions prior to committing their act of violence. Texas school systems are often hard pressed to provide resources to students that may be contemplating or planning this type of event, due to legislative actions that have reduced school funding and placed additional responsibilities on counseling staff, reducing the counselors’ ability to provide mental health intervention services. By mandating the use of functional threat assessment procedures to screen students who threaten violent behavior, school districts can more proactively address these threats and potentially reduce the possibility of the next act of mass violence in Texas schools, while remaining financially prudent and respecting the protection of student privacy laws.


Campus Police, Police Services for the Mentally Ill