School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Susan Quindag


Behavioral Threat Assessment, K-12 education, Aberrant Behavior, Support Staff, Threat Assessment Teams


Education | Psychology


The purpose of this applied study was to solve the problem of adequately providing guidance to support staff in the recognition of threatening or aberrant behavior that may represent a threat to the community, self, or others at John Doe High School located in southeast Virginia and to design practices to train all students, faculty, and staff to address the problem. A multimethod design was used consisting of both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The first approach was semi-structured interviews with members of the school-based threat assessment team. The second approach was conducting a focus group with support staff. The third approach led to the development of a brief online training module followed by a post-training survey to measure perceptions of effectiveness. Based on findings identified during interviews, the focus group, and quantitative survey data several recommendations for implementing an initiative to improve recognizing threatening or aberrant behavior were developed that is consistent with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Threat Assessment Model Policies. This initiative included developing a hybrid training approach that includes virtual micro lessons and in-person training for support staff and increasing the communication of threat assessment awareness to the entire school community to increase the capacity to recognize and report threatening or aberrant behavior.