State law regulation or district policy requires districts to adopt threat assessment policies.
Code of Virginia § 22.1-279.8. School safety audits and school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans required.
A. For the purposes of this section, unless the context requires otherwise: "School crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan" means the essential procedures, operations, and assignments required to prevent, manage, and respond to a critical event or emergency, including natural disasters involving fire, flood, tornadoes, or other severe weather; loss or disruption of power, water, communications or shelter; bus or other accidents; medical emergencies, including cardiac arrest and other life-threatening medical emergencies; student or staff member deaths; explosions; bomb threats; gun, knife or other weapons threats; spills or exposures to hazardous substances; the presence of unauthorized persons or trespassers; the loss, disappearance or kidnapping of a student; hostage situations; violence on school property or at school activities; incidents involving acts of terrorism; and other incidents posing a serious threat of harm to students, personnel, or facilities. The plan shall include a provision that the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be contacted immediately to deploy assistance in the event of an emergency as defined in the emergency response plan when there are victims as defined in Section 19.2-11.01. The Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Virginia Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund shall be the lead coordinating agencies for those individuals determined to be victims, and the plan shall also contain current contact information for both agencies.
"School safety audit" means a written assessment of the safety conditions in each public school to (i) identify and, if necessary, develop solutions for physical safety concerns, including building security issues and (ii) identify and evaluate any patterns of student safety concerns occurring on school property or at school-sponsored events. Solutions and responses shall include recommendations for structural adjustments, changes in school safety procedures, and revisions to the school board's Standard for student conduct.
B. The Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall develop a list of items to be reviewed and evaluated in the school safety audits required by this section. Such items shall include those incidents reported to school authorities pursuant to Section 22.1-279.3:1 and shall include a school inspection walk-through using a standardized checklist provided by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, which shall incorporate crime prevention through environmental design principles.
The Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety shall prescribe a standardized report format for school safety audits, additional reporting criteria, and procedures for report submission, which may include instructions for electronic submission.
Each local school board shall require all schools under its supervisory control to annually conduct school safety audits as defined in this section and consistent with such list.
The results of such school safety audits shall be made public within 90 days of completion. The local school board shall retain authority to withhold or limit the release of any security plans, walk-through checklists, and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in subdivision 4 of Section 2.2-3705.2. The completed walk-through checklist shall be made available upon request to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality or his designee. Each school shall maintain a copy of the school safety audit, which may exclude such security plans, walk-through checklists, and vulnerability assessment components, within the office of the school principal and shall make a copy of such report available for review upon written request.
Each school shall submit a copy of its school safety audit to the relevant school division superintendent. The division superintendent shall collate and submit all such school safety audits, in the prescribed format and manner of submission, to the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety and shall make available upon request to the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality the results of such audits.
C. The division superintendent shall establish a school safety audit committee to include, if available, representatives of parents, teachers, local law-enforcement, emergency services agencies, local community services boards, and judicial and public safety personnel. The school safety audit committee shall review the completed school safety audits and submit any plans, as needed, for improving school safety to the division superintendent for submission to the local school board.
D. Each school board shall ensure that every school that it supervises shall develop a written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan, consistent with the definition provided in this section, and shall include the chief law-enforcement officer, the fire chief, the chief of the emergency medical services agency, the executive director of the relevant regional emergency medical services council, and the emergency management official of the locality, or their designees, in the development of such plans. Each school division shall designate an emergency manager. The Department of Education and the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety shall provide technical assistance to the school divisions of the Commonwealth in the development of the school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans that describe the components of a medical emergency response plan developed in coordination with local emergency medical services providers, the training of school personnel and students to respond to a life-threatening emergency, and the equipment required for this emergency response. The local school board and the chief law-enforcement officer, the fire chief, the chief of the emergency medical services agency, the executive director of the relevant regional emergency medical services council, and the emergency management official of the locality, or their designees, shall annually review the written school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans. The local school board shall have the authority to withhold or limit the review of any security plans and specific vulnerability assessment components as provided in subdivision 4 of Section 2.2-3705.2. The local school division superintendent shall certify this review in writing to the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety no later than August 31 of each year.
Upon consultation with local school boards, division superintendents, the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, and the Coordinator of Emergency Management, the Board of Education shall develop, and may revise as it deems necessary, a model school crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plan for the purpose of assisting the public schools in Virginia in developing viable, effective crisis, emergency management, and medical emergency response plans. Such model shall set forth recommended effective procedures and means by which parents can contact the relevant school or school division regarding the location and safety of their school children and by which school officials may contact parents, with parental approval, during a critical event or emergency.
E. Each school board shall ensure that every public school it supervises employs at least one school administrator who has completed, either in-person or online, school safety training for public school personnel conducted by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety in accordance with subdivision A 1 of Section 9.1-184. However, such requirement shall not apply if such required training is not available online.
Code of Virginia § 22.1-79.4. Threat assessment teams and oversight committees
A. Each local school board shall adopt policies for the establishment of threat assessment teams, including the assessment of and intervention with individuals whose behavior may pose a threat to the safety of school staff or students consistent with the model policies developed by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (the Center) in accordance with § 9.1-184. Such policies shall include procedures for referrals to community services boards or health care providers for evaluation or treatment, when appropriate.
B. The superintendent of each school division may establish a committee charged with oversight of the threat assessment teams operating within the division, which may be an existing committee established by the division. The committee shall include individuals with expertise in human resources, education, school administration, mental health, and law enforcement.
C. Each division superintendent shall establish, for each school, a threat assessment team that shall include persons with expertise in counseling, instruction, school administration, and law enforcement. Threat assessment teams may be established to serve one or more schools as determined by the division superintendent. Each team shall (i) provide guidance to students, faculty, and staff regarding recognition of threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the community, school, or self; (ii) identify members of the school community to whom threatening behavior should be reported; and (iii) implement policies adopted by the local school board pursuant to subsection A.
D. Upon a preliminary determination that a student poses a threat of violence or physical harm to self or others, a threat assessment team shall immediately report its determination to the division superintendent or his designee. The division superintendent or his designee shall immediately attempt to notify the student's parent or legal guardian. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude school division personnel from acting immediately to address an imminent threat.
E. Each threat assessment team established pursuant to this section shall collect and report to the Center quantitative data on its activities using the case management tool developed by the Center.
F. Upon a preliminary determination by the threat assessment team that an individual poses a threat of violence to self or others or exhibits significantly disruptive behavior or need for assistance, a threat assessment team may obtain criminal history record information, as provided in §§ 19.2-389 and link text19.2-389.1, and health records, as provided in § 32.1-127.1:03. No member of a threat assessment team shall redisclose any criminal history record information or health information obtained pursuant to this section or otherwise use any record of an individual beyond the purpose for which such disclosure was made to the threat assessment team.
Code of Virginia § 9.1-184. Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety created; duties
A. From such funds as may be appropriated, the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (the Center) is hereby established within the Department. The Center shall:
- Develop a case management tool for the collection and reporting of data by threat assessment teams pursuant to Section 22.1-79.4;
- In consultation with the Department of Education, provide schools with a model policy for the establishment of threat assessment teams, including procedures for the assessment of and intervention with students whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of school staff or students
Threat Assessment: Model Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines
This document addresses threat assessment policies
Virginia Administrative Code 8VAC20-131-260. School Facilities and Safety.
A. Each school shall be maintained in a manner ensuring compliance with the Virginia Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63). In addition, the school administration shall:
- Carry out the duties of the threat assessment team established by the division superintendent and implement policies established by the local school board related to threat assessment, pursuant to § 22.1-79.4 of the Code of Virginia.