Behavioral Threat Assessment (BTA)

​Maryland schools respond to threats using a multidisciplinary team process to determine whether an individual displaying behaviors of concern poses a risk to school community members, and develop appropriate interventions for the individual. The process is intended to protect schools by identifying concerns and intervening early in the pathway to violence before immediate action is required.

Diagram showing the pathway to violence escalation.  It starts with Developing a “grievance” (note that the grievance is from th

What is Behavioral Threat Assessment?

​Behavioral Threat Assessment (BTA) is a fact-based, systematic process designed to identify, inquire, assess, and manage potentially dangerous or violent situations. BTA is crafted to gather a holistic picture of an individual who may be on a pathway to violence and to design a plan to mitigate harm and intervene effectively.

What Behavioral Threat Assessment is NOT?

  • Behavioral Threat Assessment is NOT a simple checklist of warning signs and red flags.
  • Behavioral Threat Assessment is NOT criminally profiling individuals or conducting psychoanalysis.
  • Behavioral Threat Assessment is NOT used to label students as troublemakers.
  • Behavioral Threat Assessment is NOT used as a means to remove students from school systems.
  • Behavioral Threat Assessment is NOT used to find the next school shooter.

The Maryland Center for School Safety seeks to remain abreast of new knowledge emerging from experts in the field of behavior threat assessment to develop resources and provide information to Maryland schools that informs practices.  The following resources, tools, and learning opportunities are currently available to all Maryland public, nonpublic, and private schools.

Model policy link (Download pdf​)

Implementation guide link (Download pdf​)

​​Crosswalk document (Download pdf​)

Purpose of Exercise

The purpose of this exercise activity is to prepare Behavior Threat Assessment (BTA) team members to: effectively perform their individual roles and responsibilities, collaborate as a member of the team, and consider information that culminates in a decision.​

Participants will be able to effectively utilize the 2018 Maryland Model Policy and the new 2023 BTA Implementation Guide.

Participants will use a tabletop activity to practice the steps and decision-making involved in an assessment. BTA teams will be provided time to refine their procedures and define the next steps to ensure their readiness for the 2023-2024 school year.  

BTA Team Training Tools

The effectiveness of the BTA multidisciplinary team requires that all members have received knowledge of expectations and their roles​ in advance and have had the opportunity to practice collaborating to reach a decision.  The following exercises are designed for use by BTA teams who have already engaged in professional learning about the behavior threat assessment process. Teams should scaffold their collaborative practice by starting with simple exercises and then moving to complex scenarios.  

Simple Exercises are designed without any interjects of new and evolving information.  
More Complex Exercises are designed with just one interject of new and evolving information for the team to practice responding to when conducting an assessment.
Most Complex Exercises are designed to have multiple interjects of information and evolving events for the team to practice responding to when conducting an assessment.

Get Started...


​Here are some things to consider before you start the BTA exercises

Maryland's Model Policy for Behavior Threat Assessment​

Download pdf​
Maryland's Behavior Threat Assessment​ Implementation Guide

Download pdf​
Maryland Behavior Threat Assessment Crosswalk of Documents
Download pdf
Request BTA Training
Training/Professional Development Request Form
Send us feedback on how it worked (Please email the contacts)
​Feedback Form (Coming soon)

MCSS BTA 01 - Split Adam


Read/Download MCSS BTA 01 - Split Adam

MCSS BTA 02 - Triple Cross

MCSS BTA 03 - War Games


MCSS BTA 04 - Young Love


MCSS BTA 05 - Blown Away


Read/Download MCSS BTA 05 - Blown Away

MCSS BTA 06 - Family Ties


Read/Download MCSS BTA 06 - Family Ties

MCSS BTA 07 - Pitch Perfect


Read/Download MCSS BTA 06 - Pitch Perfect​​​


Drew Turner drew.turner@maryland.gov​

​​School Prevention and Intervention Specialist (MCSS)

Kim Buckheit kimberly.buckheit1@maryland.gov​​​

​Policy, Communications, and Engagement Manager​ (MCSS)​​​

Human Trafficking GET HELP

National Human Trafficking Hotline - 24/7 Confidential

1-888-373-7888 233733 More Information on human trafficking in Maryland

Customer Service Promise

The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with friendly and courteous, timely and responsive, accurate and consistent, accessible and convenient, and truthful and transparent services.

Take Our Survey

Help Stop Fraud in State Government

The Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits operates a toll-free fraud hotline to receive allegations of fraud and/or abuse of State government resources. Information reported to the hotline in the past has helped to eliminate certain fraudulent activities and protect State resources.

More Information