Threat Assessment Procedure | JCTC

Threat Assessment Procedure

I.         Introduction 

Jefferson Community and Technical College is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for all students and employees. In striving to achieve this goal, it is important to ensure the physical and emotional safety for all students, faculty, and staff.

A threat assessment is a means by which the College may determine the level of threat that exists and the appropriate response. A threat assessment is a way to assess a student's particular physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and help that student receive the assistance needed in order to continue being a productive member of the campus community. The primary goal of the threat assessment process at Jefferson is to provide early assistance to students in distress in order to ensure well-being and safety and help prevent a code of conduct violation from occurring or becoming more serious.

A student is defined as any person applying to the College or currently enrolled in any course on campus or online, including students applying (or re-applying) to Jefferson programs or currently enrolled in Jefferson coursework.

A threat is defined as any conduct that presents a clear and present danger to self, others, or the campus community in general. In immediate or serious threatening situations, the President or his/ her designee reserves the right to waive or delay the assessment process outlined in this document and act in the best interest of campus safety.

While some threat assessment resolutions may result in disciplinary action, the goal is to provide resources and assistance in such a way that the student can continue their education.  The College reserves the right to exclude a student from or place special conditions on a student’s participation in its programs or activities if it concludes that the student presents a direct threat.

II.       Convening the Threat Assessment Team

A. Discretionary Review

Faculty, staff, and students may contact any member of the Threat Assessment Team at any time to report observations of concerning student behavior, regardless of whether or not a Code of Conduct violation has occurred.

Reports of situations with a high probability of harm to the health and safety of others should be directed to the Chief Student Affairs Officer (CSAO) or Chief of Campus Safety. 

Upon receiving a report, the Chief Student Affairs Officer will immediately conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if the Threat Assessment Team needs to convene. A preliminary investigation will include, but is not limited to contacting campus security, faculty and staff who know the student, and, meeting with the student.  If the Threat Assessment Team determines a meeting with the student is necessary to conclude its preliminary investigation and to address immediate safety concerns the student is expected to comply and may be immediately removed from campus if they refuse to cooperate in accordance with the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct.

The President and/or CSAO has the discretion to call for a Threat Assessment Team review when the College has a reasonable basis for believing that a student poses a direct threat or when responding to an extraordinary student conduct and/or safety issue.   In addition to results of the preliminary investigation, objective evidence, which may include current medical knowledge, must be considered when assessing the level of direct threat posed by the student.  In the case of a student with a known disability, the Team will consult with individuals who have experience in, and in-depth knowledge of the student’s disability.

B. Mandatory Review

The CSAO must convene the Team any time a student’s behavior indicates a need for the college to immediately remove the student from campus. Such action is required when the student engages in serious criminal activity or demonstrates behavior that constitutes a direct threat to the health, safety or emotional well-being of the student and/or other students, faculty, and staff. In such cases, the President or his/her designee will immediately suspend the student and remove him or her from campus pending a due process hearing in accordance with the process outlined in C below.

C.  Immediate Temporary Suspension (as described in the KCTCS Code of Student Conduct)

  a.       A student may be suspended immediately when:

  • If, in the judgment of the College President (upon consultation with CSAO and/or the college Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT)), there is reasonable cause to believe the presence of the student poses a serious threat to persons and/or property, or the student has been charged with a crime so serious as to threaten the welfare of the college community, the College President may impose temporary sanctions, including temporary suspension and ban from campus.
  • Except in the case of emergency circumstances, the student will be provided an informal opportunity to discuss the matter and possible resolution.
  • The student may be temporarily banned from campus if he/she refuses to cease disruptive behavior or conduct in violation of this policy after direct orders from the College President (upon consultation with the CSAO and/or BIT).
  • When such suspension is involved, the student must leave campus immediately.  Law enforcement will be called if the student refuses to comply, which may lead to more severe consequences, including expulsion. 

  b.  Notice of Right to Appeal

  • The College President shall issue a written notice of the immediate temporary suspension and campus ban to the student.  This written notice shall include the student’s right to appeal the decision to the College Appeals Board (CAB).   
  • The student may file a written appeal with the College Appeals Board within ten (10) business days.  If requested in the written appeal, the CAB shall schedule a hearing of the case within 48 hours, or as soon as practicable.  The CAB shall consider the student’s academic needs to attend class, use the library, and fulfill other academic commitments. 
  • The CAB may uphold the immediate temporary suspension, overturn the decision and return the student to regular status, or enact other remedies and/or sanctions.  The alternative remedies/sanctions may be more extensive than the temporary suspension, such as expulsion or other sanctions that are appropriate.  The CAB shall communicate its findings to the College President and the Student within three (3) business days of the decision.  Should the CAB uphold the immediate temporary suspension, it shall remain in effect until such time as the student proves circumstances have changed and he/she can resume attendance without posing a threat to the campus community.  The CAB’s decision is final except in cases of complete and total suspension for longer than a semester or expulsion that are subject to appeal to the KCTCS Board of Regents.

III.      Composition of the Threat Assessment Team 

The Threat Assessment Team membership may consist of the following or their designees:

Position Rationale

Chief Student Affairs Officer

 

Responsible for student code of conduct and oversight of enrollment and student development services

Academic Dean or 
Division Chairperson

Responsible for academic programs and student instruction

Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement

Responsible for ensuring an inclusive campus environment

 

Academic Advisor

Responsible for advising and non-academic support

Chief for Campus Security

Responsible for Campus Security

 

The Chief Student Affairs Officer, at his/her discretion, may include additional staff or faculty with expertise in dealing with the perceived threat as needed. If a conflict of interest occurs or the appearance of a conflict of interest arises for any of the Team members, the CSAO shall name a substitute for that individual.

IV.      Notification to the Threat Assessment Team and Student

Once the Chief Student Affairs Officer reviews a situation and determines that it warrants a review by the Team, it shall be the CSAO’s responsibility to convene the Team. If the situation involves a Student Code violation, the CSAO will make a reasonable effort to provide timely written notification of the charges to the student that includes requirements for cooperation with the investigation, and the Team's investigation will serve as part of the student’s due process. Notification may be delivered by hand or through standard mail to the student. In the absence of a conduct violation, written notification to the student explaining that a Team has been assembled to evaluate the situation will be at the discretion of the Team.

The CSAO shall provide the Team with a written report that includes:

  • A full account (includes all relevant evidence) of the alleged concern or Code violation.
  • Factors for justifying a review by the Team.
  • Any additional relevant information that would be useful to the Team to assist in their assessment.

V.        Role of the Threat Assessment Team

The role of the Team is to assist students in distress and help prevent situations of safety concern, or prevent a conduct violation from becoming more serious. Specifically, the Team will

  • Review the alleged safety concern or Student Code violation.
  • Evaluate the student's behavior in light of the accumulated evidence.
  • Conduct an individualized assessment of whether it is more likely than not that a student poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, including, in cases of students with a known disability, conferring with individuals who have in-depth knowledge of, and experience in, the area of the student’s disability.
  • The individualized assessment will be based on a reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence and will include consideration of the nature, duration, and severity of the risk.
  • Determine the probability and severity of harm.
  • Consider whether or not reasonable modifications of any relevant College policies, practices, or procedures will mitigate the risk posed by the student without fundamentally altering the nature of the service, program or activity.
  • Pending the outcome of a formal assessment, the College may set interim conditions on the student, The student shall be provided notice of the proposed interim conditions, the opportunity to present information on his or her behalf, and a right to appeal the interim conditions.
  • Complete the assessment within three (3) business days if the student has been removed from campus.
  • Provide appropriate recommendations to the President.

The Team will have full investigatory authority when reviewing the alleged concern or conduct violation and evaluating the student's behavior. If a conduct violation has occurred, the investigation serves as the student's due process. The Team has the right to:

  • Interview the student.
  • Interview all relevant witnesses.
  • Interview any individual that the Team deems helpful in providing a proper assessment.
  • If applicable, interview the accuser(s).
  • Inspect any of the student's school records. Note: The Team has a legitimate educational interest in the student's school records.
  • Request the student to release medical records to the College.
  • Request information from prior colleges or educational institutions the student has attended.

Nothing herein prevents the President and the Team from segregating multiple violations of the Student Code and/or reported concerns and proceeding with an investigation on violations/concerns that may be related to any alleged threatening behavior. For example, the Team may proceed with an investigation regarding alleged sexual harassment while analyzing other threatening behavior exhibited by the student.

VI. Student Cooperation and Due Process

The student shall fully cooperate with the Team and their investigation. A student's failure to cooperate with the Team in any way shall be considered by the Team and will be reflected in the Team's recommendation to the President. Requirements for cooperation and consequences for failure to cooperate shall be stated in written communication to the student.

If the college determines that the student poses a direct threat to the safety of others, the student must be informed of the specific nature of the concern and given an opportunity to address the charges and present evidence to support a favorable outcome.  

The College will not require a student to provide a comprehensive mental health evaluation and/or similar documentation, except (i) in the course of conducting an individualized assessment of whether the student poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others, when it has a reasonable basis to believe such, or (ii) is necessary for the College to comply with its obligations under Section 504.

VII. Recommendations by the Threat Assessment Team

Once the Team has concluded their investigation and considered the student’s response, the Team will issue a written recommendation to the President.  These recommendations may include:

An opinion as to whether or not the student may constitute a direct threat to the health, safety, or welfare to himself/herself or others, and if "yes", the Chief Student Affairs Officer will notify law enforcement. If “no”, the student will be notified in writing of the findings, and if they had been excluded from a place or participation in programs or activities, the written notice will make it clear that all privileges and benefits have been restored, including the student’s status in any academic program prior to being the subject of a threat assessment.

A suggested Action Plan for the student.  An Action Plan may include, but is not limited to one or more of the following: 

  • Referral for counseling
  • Exclusion from a specific place or participation in specific programs
  • Requirement to participate in online courses only
  • Appropriate sanctions (in the case of code of conduct violations)
  • Administrative withdrawal from the college
  • Temporary hold on registration activity
  • Requirement to provide evidence that the student is no longer a threat.  This evidence may include, but not be limited to a treatment plan or periodic reports from a physician.  This will not include eliminating behaviors that are a manifestation of the disability, unless such behavior significantly contributed to the direct threat.
  • Any other appropriate action to ensure the safety and welfare of the student and the college community.

The President reserves the right to use his or her professional judgment in considering the recommendations of the Team and implement other actions consistent with the Student Code in the interest of campus safety. In such a case, a revised recommendation report will be prepared by the Team and approved by the President.

A copy of this recommendation report will be maintained in the office of the CSAO.

If the College determines as part of this process that a student poses a direct threat to others, the College may condition the student’s future receipt of a benefit or service upon the student’s provision of documentation showing that the student is no longer a threat.  Such evidence may include, but not be limited to, a treatment plan or periodic reports from a physician.  The College will not, however, condition the provision of a benefit or service upon a showing by a student that he has eliminated behaviors that are a manifestation of a disability, unless such behavior significantly contributed to the direct threat.  As such:

  • If the student’s circumstances change, the student may make a written request to the College President for readmission to the college. 
  • The College President will consult with the CSAO and/or BIT to determine if the student has demonstrated that his/her dangerous or threatening behavior has been remediated.
  • The College President may require the student to enter into a behavioral contract that establishes specific terms and limitations for the student’s conduct and consequences for failure to abide by those terms as a condition of readmission.

VIII. Use of the Threat Assessment Team's Recommendations

Once the Team has presented its report to the President and recommendations are finalized, the CSAO will provide notice to the student of an opportunity to meet with the Team and explain the Team's recommendations. A meeting with the student shall not be necessary if the Student is not eligible to be admitted to or have access to the College or campus, or if the individual is under arrest, incarcerated, in prison or under court order or other constraint/restraint.

At this meeting, for an alleged safety concern or Student Code violation, the student will be given:

  1. Written notification, of the investigation, findings, recommendations, and if applicable, discipline sanctions and the appeal process. Conditions under which the student may remain in good standing or return to campus and follow-up requirements will also be outlined.
  2. If applicable and in accordance with the Team's recommendations, an agreement for signature by the student forgoing the right to a hearing, waiving any right to appeal, and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Team’s recommendations. 

In the case of a safety concern absent a conduct violation, if the student does not voluntarily agree to the Team's recommendations, the Team may file the appropriate Student Code charge and pursue the student discipline process as described in the Code with all attendant rights and responsibilities.

IX.      Review Period

The Team shall meet at least once per month for one school year to monitor the progress of the student and create a written progress report after each meeting that will be included in the student's school records. If the student has been removed from campus, the student's record will be flagged and efforts will be made, to the best of the Team's ability and according to the availability of information, to monitor the student's progress and/or readiness to return to school. At the end of the one-year review period, the Team will decide if additional monitoring is necessary and for how long. Once additional monitoring is deemed unnecessary, the Team will create a final written progress report and include that report in file maintained by the CSAO.

If a student agrees to be bound by the recommendations of the Team, and the student violates any of those recommendations, the violation will be treated as a violation of the Student Code standards, and normal disciplinary procedures will follow.

 

 

Adapted from Bethel College Threat Assessment Policy in 2015 and Revised by Laura Smith, April 2019