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Tiger King Threat Assessment

By: Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., President, NABITA

Many of us (40 million or so…) have spent some of our quarantine time watching the Netflix series Tiger King. It follows the lives of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin through a series of conflicts and misadventures. As we (Brian Van Brunt, Jeff Solomon, and W. Scott Lewis) completed our writing for the upcoming book, Assessing Threats in Student Writing and Social Media with Taylor and Francis Publishers, it seemed like an excellent time to bring together our research and development of a new threat assessment
system with a practical example many of us were familiar with from Netflix.

The Looking Glass assessment is a new expert threat assessment system made up of ten escalating and ten mitigating elements that can be observed in writing samples, social media posts, emails, or essays. The assessment system builds on existing research by the threat assessment community, The National Threat Assessment Center, FBI, DOJ, ED, and U.S. Post Office, and a review of over 200 cases of threat that included written material. Looking Glass provides teachers, law enforcement, counselors, administrators, human resources staff, and managers a practical way to effectively measure threat with an awareness of the psychological, criminal, and student conduct/discipline concerns.

The system is easy to learn and apply, and is offered in four versions:
• K-12, College, and University
• Law Enforcement
• Workplace: Human Resources, Supervisors, and Managers
• Title IX Coordinators and Investigators

Each version of the system walks through practical examples, accompanied by online video trainings recorded by the authors.

In this Tip of the Week, we explore how the system can be applied to a case through the scoring of the Tiger King protagonist, Joe Exotic – available here.