Preventing School Violence and Incidents Before they Occur
Preventing school violence is at the forefront of concerns for educators, administrators, parents, and students. Schools are faced with a range of threats of violence and other incidents that have the potential to impact the safety of staff and students. Incidents can include:
- Violent or disruptive incidents (with or without a weapon)
- Bomb threats or suspicious devices
- Plots to harm others
- Suspicious persons
- Other safety threats
According to the Educator’s School Safety Network 2018-2019 Violence in Schools Report, there was a 113% increase in incidents of violence and a 62% increase in threats of violence reported by American K-12 schools between the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. And the 2017-18 School Survey on Crime and Safety conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that during the 2017–18 school year, an estimated 962,300 violent incidents and 476,100 nonviolent incidents occurred in public schools nationwide. And while only 6% of tracked incidents involved a shooting, according to the Educator’s School Safety Network research, 24% of all violent incidents related to the presence or use of guns in a school, and bomb threats accounted for 32% of all specified threats. The NCES data indicates that during the 2017–18 school year, there were an estimated 3,600 incidents nationwide involving the possession of a firearm or explosive device at school.
Schools Investing in Preventing School Violence
Nationwide, schools are making significant investments in time and resources to increase their preparedness to prevent or respond to threats of violence or other incidents. While initiatives and policies vary across states and districts, many districts are focused on:
- Improving the quality of training for staff and students
- Increasing the presence of school resource officers or other law enforcement
- Increasing physical safety measures
- Improving mental health services
- Expanding social emotional learning efforts
Making “See Something, Say Something” a Reality with Anonymous Tip Reporting
Another measure many districts are taking to prevent school violence is to implement an incident or tip reporting system to support the “see something, say something” mentality and to empower their school communities to anonymously report safety concerns, threats of violence, weapons, mental health concerns, or other incidents. An online tip reporting system lets administrators stay connected to students, staff, and parents, and enables them to receive information abbot potential incidents, so that they can investigate and respond before a serious safety incident occurs.
How SafeSchools Alert Can Help
With the SafeSchools Alert Online Tip Reporting System, students, staff, and parents can choose from five convenient options to submit tips: mobile app, phone, text, email, or website. Staff are immediately notified of every tip, and can easily track and manage incidents in our web-based system. Built-in communication tools enable administrators to easily gather additional details from anonymous tipsters to facilitate follow-up and resolution. Mason City Schools, a district of 10,500 students in our hometown of Cincinnati, recently shared their outdoor signs encouraging their school community to use their SafeSchools Alert system to “see something, say something.” And Lincoln Middle and High School in West Virginia, was recently able to quickly involve law enforcement to investigate a threat received through SafeSchools Alert.
To learn more about how our SafeSchools Alert System can help your school or district support your school community in preventing and managing safety threats and concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-434-0154, or request a free trial today!