The majority of recent school attacks have had precursors leaked online in the form of social media posts. Knowing how, when, and where to look for this information is crucial to the process of behavioral threat assessment that have a digital or online component to the threat. The 2019, U.S. Secret Service report, Protecting America’s Schools, states that a majority of school attackers displayed concerning behaviors online prior to the incident.

To successfully determine an individual’s potential for violence, it is imperative that all available data, including social media and online activity, be reviewed and assessed by the behavioral threat assessment team. However, this may prove challenging given the constant changes to technology, the internet, and social media apps.

This toolkit will introduce you to major social media platforms, video games, and relevant trends that are revealing of both positive and negative student interactions. Becoming more familiar with this content will allow you to better recognize and respond to digital threats and related concerning behaviors.

This toolkit does not address digital threat assessment techniques, such as conducting internet searches or verifying whether an image is stock or unique. To learn more about digital threat assessment processes and techniques, please register for our Basic Digital Threat Assessment and Advanced Digital Threat trainings.

Note: To ensure that the content in this interactive toolkit is up to date with the latest user trends and social media algorithms, our collaborating partners at the International Center for Digital Threat Assessment, which is powered by Safer Schools Together, will be monitoring and updating this content regularly.

Table of Contents

  1. 1.0: Texas School Personnel’s Guide to Social Media

  2. 2.0: Resources

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