U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Student Threat Assessment as an Alternative to Exclusionary Discipline

NCJ Number
Journal of School Violence Volume: 19 Issue: 3 Dated: 2019 Pages: 377-388
Date Published
12 pages

This study compared disciplinary sequences for 657 students in 260 schools, using the Comprehensive Student Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) with a comparison group of 661 students in 267 schools using a more general threat assessment approach.


Threat assessment has been proposed as a method for schools to respond to student threats of violence that does not rely on exclusionary discipline practices (e.g., suspension, transfer, expulsion, arrest). The current study found that the odds that students receiving a threat assessment in CSTAG schools would receive a suspension (OR = 0.59) or law enforcement action (OR = 0.47) were less than those in schools using a general approach. Students in CSTAG schools were expelled at lower rates (0 percent compared to 1.7 percent) than students in comparison schools. These results indicate that schools using the CSTAG model were less likely to respond to student threats with exclusionary discipline. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019