There was a threat of violence made against Marbletown Elementary School in the Rondout Valley School District. The school received a letter threatening violence of an unspecified nature. it is being investigated by the State Police, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Postal Service.
Schools will often get threats that go unfulfilled. However, schools cannot fall into the trap of assuming there is no merit to the threat, without performing a thorough threat assessment, along with law enforcement. It can be a time-consuming process, but it is one that requires full participation, and documentation.
It is best if this process is spelled out in advance, with roles for each participating agency written out. The school should practice this regularly, if actual threats do not materialize. It would not be prudent, in the face of an actual threat, to waste time wondering what should be done, and how.
The U.S. Department of Education has an excellent tool for threat assessment. Schools should consider using this tool for evaluating school threats. It contains the process for immediate assessments, followed by a more thorough assessment of the individual making the threat. it stresses the use of a multi-disciplinary tea,.