Are School Shootings Contagious?
It’s a troubling question to ask, and one many don’t want to think about. But with constant media coverage of school shootings, it seems more and more seem to happen. A recent article in The New Yorker discusses the case of seventeen-year-old John LaDue. He was caught in his plan to detonate several bombs in his high school.
What may have driven LaDue to want to do commit such a terrifying act of violence is a concerning matter of its own. Keep reading to learn how school shootings can be ‘contagious’, and how threat assessment is the best way to combat this phenomenon and influence school safety.
Modern Media and School Violence
When a school violence tragedy happened decades ago, it was dismissed as an evil action that could not be prevented. Today, when these tragedies happen, they are exposed all over mass media. This encourages students who are vulnerable to committing acts of violence to follow the lead of previous attacks. LaDue was determined to have an autism-spectrum disorder, making him vulnerable to becoming obsessed with things such as bombings. It wasn’t that he was evil or wanted people to suffer, his condition just caused him to lack normal empathy and concern.
Students like LaDue view these events differently than their peers, and mass media helps provide the exposure that can make them obsessed. So how can threat assessment help stop this phenomenon?
Signs of School Shootings
Even with the LaDue case, there are always signs with students who are capable of violence. Obsessions with guns or explosives should be monitored, as well as lack of empathy for people or animals. Sometimes these signs can be hard to pick up for the untrained eye. Threat assessment training provides school staff, peers, and the community with the knowledge needed to identify a potential violent student.
If students are caught before school shootings or bombings happen, these catastrophic events do not reach the media. Fewer tragedies in the media results in less inspiration for students who are likely to be influenced by them.
Know the Signs – Schedule Threat Assessment Training with Defender L.L.C.
“Children deserve a safe setting to learn in. Teachers and staff deserve a safe place to work in. Communities deserve safe schools that educate kids and help keep neighborhoods safer.” – the National Crime Prevention Council
Defender’s OA2 program, which stands for Observe, Assess, and Act®, teaches educators, parents/guardians, and school staff how to recognize the warning signs of school violence and how to address these issues in a positive and proactive manner. The results are for the good of the community, the families and most importantly, the students.
OA2® is a one-day training session (with access to follow-on consulting).
We will work with your program to find an affordable solution to ensure your staff has the training they need to help keep your students protected.
If you have any questions about Threat Assessment Training and how it can help put a stop to senseless school violence, please contact Defender, L.L.C. by calling 410-381-8003. We believe a proactive approach to be the best tool in the fight against school violence.