The following is an abbreviated (sample) glossary of the 3Shield School Safety Education training program terminology and common language. Each are covered in further detail in the course content. 


Actionable Items – Observable concerning behaviors or activities of an emerging external threat or evolving internal threat. You can determine if something is either an actionable item or a non-actionable item even at the lowest intervention opportunity (behavioral assessment threshold). The sooner the better. If it is an actionable item, then it is worth reporting.  These can be readily identified by trained faculty and staff.

Assessment Thresholds – Viewed as a matrix the school safety triangle offers three layers of assessment: behavioral assessment, threat assessment and incident control.

BAT – A multidisciplinary behavioral assessment team comprised of at least 3 members minimally selected from administration, school health and guidance.

CSS – Certified Safe Schools, LLC (program developer company name).

CSS 3Shields School Safety Education Training Program – By replacing gaps in your school safety with recommended best practices and integrating them with your existing school security, this school safety education program trains faculty and staff to remedy vulnerabilities below the threat assessment threshold facilitating sustainable school violence intervention.

Closed Campus – A term referring to a campus where 50% or more of that campus is controlled by physical security.

Emerging External Threat – A person or persons—not students, faculty, or staff— from outside the school. Examples of an emerging external threat include terrorists, extremists, human traffickers, criminals, opportunists, psychologically unstable persons, and the like. To address an emerging external threat, faculty and staff must apply trained protection skills, such as recognizing potential threat indicators and identifying preoperational surveillance. 

Evolving Internal Threat – A person or persons, faculty, staff, or students, originating from inside the school. Faculty and staff can turn bad. However, in most cases, such as Columbine, Umpqua College, Parkland and others, students have developed into threats over time. Internal threats evolve. An evolving threat may occur anywhere between a matter of weeks to the student’s duration in the school system  based on matriculation. An internal threat may result from a failed lower level intervention, such as failure to identify and address a student who may be presenting observable concerning behavior (OCB). 

Hard SkillsHard Skills are physical activities that directly apply in response to physical violence.

OCB – Observable Concerning Behavior(s)

Open Campus – A term referring to a campus where less than 50% of that campus is controlled by physical security.

Physical Security – A term describing facility protection devices such as access control, alarms, cameras, etc., as well as perimeter protection such as gates, controlled parking garages, fences, vehicle patrols and the like. Some schools have more of these while some have less. The term additionally applies to the personnel directly handling such equipment and matters of hands-on physical protection such as dedicated security guards, and school resource officers (SROs).

Response Option Dependency – A common strategy of waiting until an active threat occurs and then relying on physical security to save lives. Instead of relying on this failed strategy, forward-leaning administrators realize that successful strategy can only be achieved by  collaborative and proactive efforts in which all members of the learning community are stakeholders.

Severe Conditions – A term describing that point in a threat progression where pre-attack behavior has converted to physical attack behavior.

School Safety – Overarching term describing the ongoing process of creating a safe and positive learning environment. Many elements fall under the umbrella of school safety such as administration, fire and emergency, faculty, health, wellness, facilities, public relations, communications, hardware maintenance, transportation and School Security.

School Security – An umbrella term applied to various protection methodologies, systems, equipment, and related active, reactive and proactive emergency action planning and other protective measures. It can also refer to a department where some schools, colleges and universities may have a Director of Security in charge of such activities and equipment. Physical Security falls under the umbrella of School Security. it is also referred to by this program as “Shield Three.”

Security Personnel – Designated individuals attached to school security that can include but are not limited to security guards and school resource officers (SROs).

Shield One – Is an interventions-based in-house capability comprising recommended best practices to stop an emerging external threat. It provides a trained level of situational awareness, the technical skills to recognize a potential threat, identify preoperational surveillance, and other such tools of the protection trade made readily available to school faculty and staff.

Shield Two – Is an interventions-based in-house capability comprising recommended practices to stop and evolving internal threat. It Provides a trained level of behavioral assessment to include the essential mechanics of concerning behavior detection, evaluation and intervention.

Shield Three – A program term describing your existing School Security.

Situational Awareness – A term referencing a trained ability to observe, identify, process and comprehend the critical elements of information about your immediate environment. Situational awareness is applicable as both a deterrent and a methodology to be a step ahead of events that are emerging around you.  It is the currency that buys you time. There are varying levels of situational awareness ranging from unsatisfactory to professionally-trained faculty and staff (provided by this program).

Soft Skills – Those skills gained by awareness-based training to include applying your situational awareness and knowing how to collect and process data from your environment requiring no physical activity.

Threat Progression – Continual movement of a threat condition from a potential threat to a developing threat to an active threat to include presentation of behaviors corresponding to the condition of that threat. The progression is used to identify opportunity for prevention and mitigation of school violence as opposed to response.