Handling Threatening Phone Calls

Schools Learn to Handle Threatening Phone Calls

On April 2, BJE held professional development training for faculty and staff of BJE-affiliated Jewish schools, including early childhood centers, part-time religious schools and day schools. Led by Chameleon Associates, participants learned how to handle threatening phone calls. 

Threatening calls affect not only the person answering the phone but can be disabling for the school that receives it. Learning what to expect, reviewing guidelines for how to respond and learning techniques for communicating with the caller were covered during the program.


Chameleon's approach involves physical assessment in conjunction with increasing security awareness across a school community, aiming to go beyond See Something, Say Something toward empowering school staff to know what to look out for. Emphasizing that it's preferential to create doubt in the mind of an adversary, so they never attack, participants learned about how to mitigate a threat,


Addressing how security must fit the culture of a school, the facilitators shared the perspective of law enforcement and how a school campus should look when police are called in to optimize the chances for a safe outcome.


Other Topics Included:

  • Why people make threatening calls.

  • How to be prepared.

  • What to expect when you answer such a call.

  • Communication techniques.

  • How to de-escalate the situation.

  • What to do to help law enforcement.

This workshop truly equipped me and provided ample guidance on addressing and managing threatening phone calls. I gained invaluable insights and knowledge from the workshop, which I was able to effectively share with my colleagues.
-Avital Etehad at Temple Isaiah Preschool