School Violence Report: Identification & Prevention are Key

School Violence Report: Identification & Prevention are Key

The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) analyzed 41 incidents of targeted K-12 school violence that occurred from 2008-2017. The biggest takeaway – most of the school shootings that occurred were preventable. “These are not sudden, impulsive acts where a student suddenly gets disgruntled. The majority of these incidents are preventable,” said NTAC Chief Lina Alathari. Furthermore, the NTAC found that many of these tragedies “could have been avoided if the school systems had implemented prevention measures to identify students of concern and assess their potential risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities.” Most of the attacks were over before law enforcement had the opportunity to intervene so schools should set the threshold for intervention low and “identify students in distress before their behavior escalates to the level of eliciting concerns about safety.”

Other Key Findings from the School Violence Report

  • 91% of attackers struggled with a mental illness. Of those, 69% exhibited psychological symptoms, 57% behavioral, and 20% developmental.
  • All attackers exhibited behaviors that were concerning and 80% elicited concern from others.
  • 66% of attackers communicated their intent to attack.
  • 80% of attackers were bullying victims, and the bullying was often witnessed by others.
  • 50% of attackers showed interest in violent topics.
  • Social stressors, like relationships with peers and/or romantic problems, were present for all attackers.
  • There is no set profile of an attacker or the type of targeted school.
  • 63% of attackers had more than one motive, usually involving grievances with classmates.
  • 61% of attackers used firearms. 76% of those attackers acquired the firearm from a parent or relative.
  • 94% of attackers experienced a negative home life.
  • 71% of attackers had previous school disciplinary issues. 49% had previous contact with law enforcement.

The NTAC hopes that this report will help schools better train their staff, specifically law enforcement personnel, security officers, and guidance counselors, on how to better identify and stop potential attackers.

How SafeSchools Can Help Better Prepare Schools to Prevent School Violence

Training Management System

Our SafeSchools Online Training System completely automates your staff and student training, so you can give everyone the essential knowledge they need to be better prepared and protected at school. Access high quality courses on important safety topics by leading experts, all in one convenient online system.

Relevant courses for employees include:

Anonymous Tip Reporting

With SafeSchools Alert, students, staff, and parents can confidentially report tips and safety concerns, including bullying, harassment, mental health concerns, weapons, and threats of violence to administration 24/7 via mobile app, phone, text, email, and website. Staff are immediately notified of tips and can immediately follow up, bring in law enforcement if necessary, and manage incidents to resolution.

To learn more about any of our K-12 safety solutions to help you prevent school violence in 2020, please contact us at 1-800-434-0154, or request a free trial online.