Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines Training

Threat Assessment Team Training Opportunity

The Department invites all Ohio districts and schools to participate in the nationally recognized Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG).

Ohio’s strategic plan for education, Each Child, Our Future, declares the Department’s commitment that every child will learn in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe. Governor Mike DeWine recently issued a Letter to Ohio School Superintendents on Safety Initiatives to provide information on the recent changes to Ohio law and to raise awareness about school safety services and resources offered by the state including a new behavioral threat assessment training for educators.

Ohio’s educational service centers (ESCs) will offer training in the CSTAG model to school personnel statewide. This training requires districts to create multidisciplinary threat assessment teams consisting of district and school staff from each school. This one-day in person event fulfills the Safety and Violence Education Students (SAVE Students) Act threat assessment training requirement.

What are the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG)?

In 2001, Professor Dewey Cornell of the University of Virginia led a team of educators and researchers to develop a practical and effective set of guidelines for schools to use in responding to threats of violence. After years of development and research this model the Virginia Student Threat Assessment Guidelines (VSTAG), was formally recognized as an evidence-based program by the federal government’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices in 2013. No other model of threat assessment has demonstrated effectiveness in controlled studies published in peer-review journals. In 2018 the updated manual, Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) were published.

Who should attend?

The Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) is designed for multidisciplinary school-based teams that receive and respond to reported threats of violence in their school buildings. The district multidisciplinary team should include the following:

  • District Team: two or three personnel responsible for school safety;
  • Elementary School Teams: three people, including the principal, a school mental health professional (counselor, social worker or psychologist) and one other person;
  • Middle and High School Teams: five people, including the principal, assistant principal, a school mental health professional, such as a counselor, social worker or psychologist, school resources officer, if applicable, and one or two other people.

Each school’s threat assessment team should participate in the same training, if possible. Participating as school teams allows for each school to brainstorm and coordinate its threat assessment framework together.

What will districts learn?

The Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) explain:

  • Rationale for a threat assessment
  • How the team functions
  • What steps to follow in conducting an assessment
  • Identification, assessment, and management of threats
  • Resolving conflicts or problems before they escalate
  • 5-step decision tree to resolve most non serious, transient threats in 2 steps
  • Assessment and intervention reserved for more serious substantive threats
  • How to conduct a student threat assessment
  • Mental health assessment of a student who poses a very serious substantive threat
  • Pathways to violence that must be considered
  • Intervention strategies to help troubled students and prevent their conflicts and problems from escalating into violence

Ways school districts may benefit:

  • Reduction of reported violence;
  • Decrease of anxiety and increase of knowledge in responding to threats;
  • Fewer student-reported threats carried out;
  • Up to a 50 percent reduction in long-term suspensions;
  • Fewer bullying violations;
  • Increased parent involvement;
  • Greater willingness of students to seek help for threats of violence; and
  • More positive student views of school personnel.

Contact your ESCs to schedule CSTAG training in their region. The CSATG model training is the perfect opportunity to meet threat assessment team needs and fulfill the Safety and Violence Education Students (SAVE Students) Act threat assessment requirements. Please contact your local educational service center or with questions.

The Ohio Department of Education is committed to providing access and inclusion and reasonable accommodation in its services, activities, programs and employment opportunities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable laws. To request a reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact Aleshia McNutt, ADA coordinator, at or (614) 387-2200 (voice) no later than 14 days before the event.

Last Modified: 2/22/2024 4:07:33 PM