School Safety: Preventing Targeted Violence
by Brianna Richard, on Apr 16, 2021 9:00:00 AM
While schools around the country have been in distance learning, school shootings and violence have become a bit of a thing from the past. Since March 2020, an unprecedented number of high school and middle school students across the US have attended school via Zoom and campuses have been closed. But as school begins to open up again and students start coming back in person, school violence is a topic concerning administrators around the country.
According to K-12 Dive, a study done by the U.S. Secret Service gives us some insight into stopping school violence. The study examines over 60 instances from 2006-2018 where a student had a plan of enacting some form of violence on the school and the attack was stopped. In 100% of the cases, the attack was stopped because someone reported that the plotter’s behavior was suspicious and alerted authorities. There are often subtle warnings when a student is planning an attack on the school. Speaking with school administration and local law enforcement about these warning signs is the best way to stop an attack. (Alathari, Drysdale , & Blair )
So as schools are inviting more and more students back onto campus, how can we keep students safe from targeted violence? The answer is most likely a multifaceted approach. Students are often the first ones to know that something is off with their peers. Educating students on how to report suspicious behavior and how to be empathetic and aware of the feelings of their peers is very important. (Arundel , 2021)
Behavior tracking is another great way to stop school violence. School administration needs to track student behavior school-wide. Online behavior trackers, like Bloomz behavior tool, are a great resource to communicate observable behavior with teachers, administration, and staff. When behavior is tracked and communicated it can give insight early on, so schools can give students that are struggling the help they need.
While there are many details that need to be thought about and discussed as schools are opening back up, school safety should be at the top of the list. Educating the school community, keeping open lines of communication, and using online behavior tracking tools can all help us ensure the safety of our students.
- Arundel, K. (2021, April 6). Intervene early, effectively to prevent violent school attacks. Retrieved from https://www.k12dive.com/news/intervene-early-and-effectively-to-prevent-violent-school-attacks/597829/
- Alathari, L., Drysdale, D., & Blair, A. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secret Service National Threat Assessment (Rep. No. Https://www.secretservice.gov/sites/default/files/reports/2021-03/USSS%20Averting%20Targeted%20School%20Violence.2021.03.pdf). National Threat Assessment Center.
- Photo by Mwesigwa Joel on Unsplash