Dewey Cornell, Ph.D. and Associates

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Reviewer Comments

Guidelines cover 2006.jpg

John Monahan, Ph.D.
Doherty Professor of Law and Psychology

University of Virginia School of Law

. . . detailed, step-by-step, practical advice for how to respond effectively to students who threaten violence. Their clear-eyed and level-headed prescriptions for assessment and action are grounded on a rare blend of cutting-edge empirical research and thoroughgoing familiarity with the lived environment in which teachers and school administrators labor. These Guidelines are, by far, the best thing I have read on what is now a central issue in American education.

Russell Skiba, Ph.D.
Counseling and Educational Psychology

Indiana University

. . . Professors Cornell and Sheras challenge many of the commonly accepted myths about dealing with student threats. Best of all for school practitioners, the book translates our best knowledge into highly readable and eminently usable information for front-line educators faced with the complex task of responding to threats. . . . In sum, this book fills a very significant void in practice. It weaves together scholarly findings and practical suggestions as well as any educational publication I've seen. . . .

Michael Smith
Past president, California Council of School Attorneys

These Guidelines represent legal "best practices."  School districts that follow these Guidelines will reduce their liability exposure.

Michael J. Furlong, Ph.D.
Gevirtz Graduate School of Education
University of California Santa Barbara

This work has no equal in school-based threat assessment literature. The authors have shown the utmost scholarship and integrity in the development of this resource guide. It is informative, practical, integrates easily into school procedures, and it is backed by objective research. This book is required reading for all school safety teams. It will provide a core resource for the training of my school psychology students. Implementing the procedures described in this guide will not only make schools safer, it will make them more humane and caring.

Dr. Ronald Stephens, Director
National School Safety Center

Cornell and Sheras have done an outstanding job providing school administrators with insightful guidance and suggestions for dealing with student threats. . . .  In today's tense climate, this is a "must read" for educators.

Jo Ann Burkholder, MS
President National Student Assistance Association

This manual is absolutely fantastic! It is comprehensive and practical with sound practices guided by current research. Busy school administrators will relish the concise reading and step-by-step guidance. . . . The examples are realistic day-to-day school events that resonate with school personnel.

Shane R. Jimerson, PhD,
Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology
University of California, Santa Barbara

. . .  an excellent practical resource for educational professionals. This book presents straightforward step-by-step activities for school-based practitioners to appropriately assess and effectively respond to students who threaten violence. . . . The forms for threat assessment documentation and behavior support plans included in the book provide a concrete format for gathering information and planning appropriate actions. . . .  an essential addition to any professional library.   

Randy Kamphaus, Ph.D.
Department of Educational Psychology
University of Georgia

The format is easy to follow and practical, leading school personnel through all stages of threat assessment implementation. Most importantly, I think that the authors do an outstanding job of communicating the long-successful nature of U.S. Secret Service threat assessment methods…Their approach represents a very important practical contribution to schooling.

Ron Palomares, Ph.D.
American Psychological Association

The Guidelines provides school principals and other staff the rationale and step-by-step process to respond to potentially dangerous students and situations. . . the authors furnish the necessary evidence-based underpinnings required for schools to consider when modifying or creating new programs. . . . with wonderful copy-ready sample forms, and clear examples, this book provides all a school needs to start from scratch or to modify their current program to be truly responsive to the threat of violence in their school building.

Kenneth S. Trump, President
National School Safety and Security Services

Drs. Cornell and Sheras present a blend of research and practical application.  Their recognition and involvement of School Resource Officers is especially refreshing since SROs are too often under-acknowledged for the important role they play in working with school staff to assess and manage student threats.  The case studies and practical exercises take threat assessment principles beyond the generic rhetoric of many post-Columbine "expert" publications to a new level of resource for practical application.

Jeffrey Sprague, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Special Education
Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior
College of Education, University of Oregon

Cornell and Sheras have written a definitive and much-needed guide for responding to student threats of violence in schools. While the FBI and Secret Service reports on threat assessment and school shooters were useful sources of information and ideas, this book provides a step by step and practical guide for responding that will be invaluable to school administrators. This book is the first complete guide for schools to move from capacity building to threat assessment protocols to data-based decision making and evidence-based student support plans. Cornell and Sheras provide useful and detailed examples throughout the book and an excellent summary of their research on the actual patterns of threats in schools. Every school administrator should use this comprehensive book, and it would be invaluable for use in administrator licensure programs.

L. Bernard Hairston, Ph.D., Principal
Burley Middle School, Albemarle County, Virginia

Our school division has used the threat assessment guidelines for the past four years. The guidelines offer simple steps to evaluate the severity of an incident from horseplay to a very serious expression. I have noticed that my assistant principal and I have been more consistent in our decision making and recommending consequences and support for students and families since implementing the guidelines. We have also noticed greater support and confidence from parents when they realize we are using a research based model to guide in our decisions.

Randy Borum, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Department of Mental Health Law and Policy
Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute
University of South Florida

In these Guidelines, Cornell and Sheras give schools a practical, step-by-step, empirically tested approach for responding to a wide range of student threats of violence.  This is truly a nuts-and bolts "how-to" guide that educators, administrators and law enforcement can pick-up and put to immediate use.  In these most uncertain situations, Guidelines for Responding to Student Threats of Violence provides much needed structure, support and guidance.

Kirk Heilbrun, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Drexel University

These Guidelines offer a comprehensive approach to threat assessment in schools that is clear, practical, and supported by extensive research findings.  Cornell and Sheras provide an approach that balances the needs of schools with those of students and their families in managing the risk of serious school violence without unduly disrupting important academic and social aspects of the school environment.  This will be an indispensable resource for every school system in North America.