Session Descriptions

Pre-Conference Trainings

Assessment of Social Media Threat
Allison Frost, Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., & Jeff Solomon

This course will provide practical experience to participants looking to better understand how NaBITA’s assessment tools are used to assess risk. This will include our triage tool (NaBITA Risk Rubric), how to assess written content (VRAW2), our in-person threat assessment interview (SIVRA-35 and the extremist violence assessment (ERIS). Participants will learn the VRAW2 assessment process through detailed case examples as well as how to teach the basic VRAW2 concepts to non-BIT members such as faculty and staff.  The afternoon will be spent assessing the risk of six separate cases involving social media and increased risk. The discussion will include the importance of diversity and bias awareness, how to rate the risk on written narratives, emails and social media posts and the importance of using an objective approach to assessing and managing risk.

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From Intake to Intervention: Developing Risk Management Plans 
Makenzie Schiemann, M.S. Ed & David J. Denino, LPC, NCC

This course will be an interactive workshop to assist those in K-12, college and university and workplace setting better develop their intake skills and demonstrate how to create a Risk Management Plan to create a better chance for success, address violence potential and reduce legal liability. The focus will be on creating a plan that seeks to reduce the risk to the workplace or educational institutions while clearly and consistently leaning into best practice concepts to better ensure improvement in the behavior of the individual. This will be an interactive and group discussion-based training that will review a variety of cases with an eye to diversity, bias reduction and opportunities to bring practical take-a-ways back to put immediately into practice.

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Conference Sessions

Perfectly Imperfect – The Beautiful (and Messy) Journey of Personal Transformation
Jacques S. Whitfield, J.D.

Jacques Whitfield shares an authentic look at the process of personal and professional transformation. As an accomplished subject matter expert in human resources management, EEO compliance and training and development, Whitfield candidly shares his personal journey of transformation using both humor and heartbreak as teaching tools to demonstrate that each of us is valuable and worthy of acknowledgment and celebration. Whitfield shares how he turned a “mess” into a “message” and that no matter how many times we fall down, there is growth, redemption and power in getting back up and keep moving forward! “There are magic and joy all around us…if we choose to find it!”

Establishing Prevention-Based Active Shooter Programs for Colleges/Universities & K-12
Chris Brown & Jeff Solomon

This training session will focus on the importance of establishing “prevention-based” active shooter programs, concentrating on preventing the act of violence before it occurs. This presentation will review past acts of violence in both the higher education and the K-12 environments, current strategies and policies to build a comprehensive active shooter program, and will provide techniques that will aid in reducing the risk and the anxiety/fear of students and staff.  Participants will learn the importance of integrating behavioral intervention teams and about the risk and threat assessment processes in addition to learning approaches on effective best practices to consider during an active shooter incident. Participants will be provided with common emergency terminology used in both the higher education environment and K-12 schools to ensure that “we are all on the same page” during a critical incident both internally with staff/students and externally with first responders; approaches on student management during an event; and how to communicate during a critical incident such as an active shooter event. We will also discuss common legal “roadblocks” such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as to reporting students of concern and the sharing information. In addition, we will also discuss the recent K-12 resources and additions to the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NABITA) and how the use of prevention-based active shooter programs in the K-12 environment can help colleges and universities in their work as well. This program addresses both preventing the act before it occurs and strategies to mitigate the loss of life and injury during an active shooter event.

Movements, Marches, #MeToo | Student Activism & the BIT
Makenzie Schiemann, M.S. Ed & Poppy Fitch, Ed.D. 

Description coming soon

The Art of Engagement: Using Motivational Interviewing During Challenging Student Conversations
Robert Scholz, MA, LMFT, LPCC

Effective decision-making for BIT and Threat Management Teams depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of the information gained from interviews with at-risk students.  Even the most experienced professional can be challenged during these conversations since students often enter these interactions guarded, angry, hopeless and fearing for the worst. Motivational interviewing (MI) offers professionals a practical, common-sense style to engage students in difficult conversations through a caring, empathic and collaborative approach. This program will offer participants a brief overview of MI theory and principles,  specific early interview MI engagement strategies, skills to respond more effectively to the reactive student, and ideas for structuring interviews that both elicit needed information, while also respecting the student’s readiness to move into more difficult topics. 

Updated NaBITA Tool Case Studies
Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D. & Makenzie Schiemann, M.S. Ed

The NaBITA Risk Rubric has enjoyed broad acceptance at hundreds of schools. First created in 2009, updated in 2014, the Risk Rubric was again updated in 2019 to increase clarity around the

various scales and interventions, broader depth of research support for D-Scale items, affective violence, mental health, and environmental stress, as well as a focus on low-level referrals and early intervention efforts. Join the presenters as they provide an overview of the NaBITA Risk Rubric and how BITs can use it as a core part of their process. The presenters will also facilitate a discussion allowing the participants to apply the risk rubric to case studies so that they may practice triaging risk and moving toward consistent, appropriate interventions.

K-12 and BIT
Allison Frost, David J. Denino, LPC, NCC, & Makenzie Schiemann, M.S. Ed

This session is designed to provide participants a brief overview of how to use BITs to meet the needs of students within the K-12 context. There will be a particular emphasis on the nuances of developing a BIT in the school setting, including developing a district-wide rationale and garnering district-wide support, K-12-specific team membership, and key foundational considerations.

The Impacts of Unconscious Bias in Suspensions
Tammy Hodo, Ph.D.

How does unconscious bias factor into who is being suspended, expelled and referred for special education? This session will cover what unconscious bias is and how it factors into the disproportionate rates of discipline experienced by students of color.  Our biases impact our everyday interactions and while unconscious, our biases have major implications for those on the margins.  Attendees will learn the science behind unconscious biases as well as the mechanisms that reinforce or help create our biases.  We will discover the different types of biases, discuss our own possible biases, and gain the skill set needed to address our biases to create a more just and fair educational experience for all students’.

Looking Beyond the Call
Chris Brown & Jeff Solomon

This session is an overview of the extended eight-hour course which equips and enacts law enforcement patrol staff and other field investigators (including detectives) to see beyond the call and take the necessary steps to prevent acts of mass killings. Attendees will be trained to use a structured checklist at calls for service. This provides participants a tool to assess more than just a whether there is a crime or mental health crisis, but additional risk factors such as access to weapons, social media, fixation and focus, grievance collection, cognitive openings, verbal and written threats, conduct at work/school and with friends and family, and alcohol and drug abuse.

The content is not limited to Juvenile offenders but covers a broad focus to assist on calls where there is an elevated risk for a potential mass causality incident.

A Foster Youth Primer for BIT & CARE Teams
Poppy Fitch, Ed.D.

As campuses turn their attention to supporting the needs of foster youth in colleges and universities, the intersection with the BIT proves a need for teams to increase their capacity to better understand this tenacious and high need student population. In this interactive session, participants will engage in a discussion of strengths and opportunities to improve service to foster youth through the lens of BIT and CARE Teams.

Legal Issues and the BIT
Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., David J. Denino, LPC, NCC, & Makenzie Schiemann, M.S. Ed 

Join the presenters as they walk you through an overview of legal pitfalls and challenges BITs to face as related to student conduct, ADA/OCR, free speech, threat assessment, parental involvement, FERPA, HIPAA, and state confidently laws.

Supporting Marginalized Students in Stressful Times 
Jacques S. Whitfield, J.D., Jeff Solomon, & Tammy Hodo, Ph.D. 

Schools across our country serve students from diverse backgrounds. The current climate of divisiveness, frustration, and fear in this country is having a significant impact on many children. Each student brings their individual backgrounds and unique cultures. Students from diverse groups that have experienced marginalization may be especially vulnerable to stressors. Many students may identify or belong to families with immigrants, undocumented immigrants, unaccompanied minors, persons of color, Muslims, refugees, or LGBTQ+ persons, among others, are reporting feeling targeted and unsafe. Feelings of uncertainty are particularly heightened for these communities struggling to understand and cope with hate-based violence, discriminatory or threatening actions or speech, and shifting policies that are causing new uncertainties for specific populations. The session provides four unique perspectives related to helping educators support students during trying times.

Seeing #aBITclearer: Into the Minds of NaBITA’s Thought Leaders 

Be a part of the conversation in our interactive closing panel! We are using the innovative audience engagement tool SLIDO to identify your most puzzling questions in behavioral intervention and delivering the thought leaders to address them. 


Advanced Threat Management Certification Course

Designed as a companion to Advanced Threat Assessment, this course focuses on challenges often encountered following the assessment of violence risk. The presenter(s) have designed a highly interactive and case study based, drawing participants into discussions related to the legal, psychological, criminal and case management areas of practice. From managing affective, emotionally driven violence to the larger challenges related to the oversight, and the on-going supervision and treatment of those who remain on campus with a significant risk profile. Covering closed communities and marginalized populations, the presenter(s) will address the unique challenges and opportunities to build rapport and tie interventions to specific populations including individuals with mental illness, athletes, greek life, those with addictions, marginalized communities, non-traditional students, LGBTQ+, those with suicidal or self-injurious behaviors, and individuals struggling with anger and impulse control. Special conditions will also be reviewed such as: working with suspended and expelled students, the use of private detectives and fusion centers, return to campus and the public relations issues when individuals show up at board meetings or talk to the press.

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