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The Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (APATAP) Committee is excited to announce that our annual conference will be held at Disneyland, Hong Kong from 25 - 27 February 2019.

Our conference theme this year is “Online threats, offline lives: Reality and Practice of Online Threat Management”. This is a highly relevant theme to today’s society and reflects current advancements in the use of technology and social media in assessing and managing global, local, and individual-level threats.

We invite all mental health, law enforcement, security, workplace health and safety, and other professionals tasked with the prevention and response of behavioural risks to join us in this learning and networking opportunity.
Wednesday, February 27 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Navigating Online Threats in the Tertiary Education Sector: Limitations & Learnings

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Judging intent when assessing online threats within universities can be tricky. Staff reactions to threats can influence the outcome of a case, even if a risk assessment is undertaken, and the recommendations stipulate a comprehensive approach to case managing the concern-: the student. It is easier to remove the perceived threat by excluding the student, rather than investing time and resources to manage the concern. The perception that risk is eliminated when a student is excluded is challenging because it transfers the problem elsewhere instead of addressing the matter.

Consider a scenario in which a student emailed multiple death threats to her teacher overnight. She had gotten caught cheating on her exam, and received an academic misconduct. She was suspended for 2 weeks, during which she was required to undergo a psychological assessment to consider her eligibility in returning to study. The assessment revealed a history of issuing online threats to men she became sexually involved with. This behaviour extended to men in positions of authority, who are regarded as threats. She claimed she never intended to act on the threats, but sent them out of desperation at the thought of failing. The recommendations prescribed a structured case management approach, which the university feels is risky to endorse.

This topic will explore the following dilemmas-: If enacting a case management plan is a potential strategy to manage the threat, are we possibly discarding our responsibility by considering exclusion? Is the response measured, or is a viable solution being dismissed in favour of a risk-averse approach to perceived threats? By focusing mainly on staff reactions, we jeopardize assessing the level of threat accurately as we lose objectivity. Does this then create further opportunities for threats which could be avoided by containing the risk? Or is it wise to steer towards exclusion to avoid exposure to further threats?

Speakers
avatar for Rameeza Barnes

Rameeza Barnes

Acting Manager, Safer Community, Swinburne University of Technology
Rameeza Barnes is currently the Acting Manager of Safer Community at Swinburne University of Technology. Her experience in the tertiary education sector includes having worked as an International Student Advisor and a Student Advocacy Advisor for Swinburne. Rameeza has a background... Read More →