Office of School Safety Provides Behavioral and Threat Assessment Management Training Ahead of 25th Anniversary of Columbine Shooting

Apr 17 2024

MADISON, Wis. –  The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of School Safety (OSS) today is holding a Behavioral and Threat Assessment Management (BTAM) training in Appleton, Wis. ahead of the 25-year anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Columbine, Col. that occurred on April 20, 1999.  BTAM trainings are designed to provide school administrators, school mental health professionals, security personnel, community partners, and law enforcement with an understanding of why threat assessment is an important part of violence prevention in schools.


“It has been 25 years since the Columbine tragedy, and, sadly, violence in schools hasn’t gone away. The need to be vigilant about school safety has only become clearer,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “That’s why trainings like this one offered by the Office of School Safety are critical: we must take a proactive approach to keeping kids safe in school.”


Acts of targeted violence continue to impact the safety and security of our communities. These acts of targeted violence are not impulsive or irrational; rather the perpetrators of these incidents decide to commit violence and often undertake clear processes of planning and preparing in which threats or potentially concerning behaviors can be identified.


OSS’ training will provide school specific applications and best practice recommendations for BTAM teams. School teams have an opportunity to provide proactive, effective alternatives to reactive and exclusionary disciplinary practices.  The focus of this session is to familiarize participants with the BTAM process, clarify team member roles and responsibilities, increase understanding of who poses a threat in a school, and how to respond effectively through development of an intervention plan of support and management. Additionally, assisting community bystanders with tools on what to report and where to report it.


Today’s training is one of eleven being held around the state throughout the first half of the year, to ensure as many locations as possible have access to BTAM trainings. Training locations include Pewaukee, Whitewater, Fennimore, West Salem, Portage, Oshkosh, Green Bay, Gillett, Tomahawk, Chippewa Falls, and Turtle Lake. You can learn more about the trainings by visiting our website.


In addition to the training, OSS offers a free eLearning module titled, “Foundations of Targeted Violence Prevention,” open to all community members. The course was created in partnership by OSS, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis, National Threat Evaluation and Reporting office. The goal of the course is to educate the public on threatening or potentially concerning behaviors and where to report them, providing an opportunity for intervention to prevent targeted violence from occurring.