Zero Tolerance Policies Are Not the Solution to Ending School Violence
Since the mid-1990s, school violence has been a hot button topic here in the United States. In 1994, President Bill Clinton passed the Gun Free Schools Act, banning guns from public schools. Then in 1999, after the school shooting at Columbine High School, many U.S. schools adopted Zero Tolerance Policies for violence, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, firearms, and other weapons. Still, school violence continues to be an issue.
The solution: Threat assessment, which is a proactive method designed to aid parents, teachers, and school administrators in recognizing the warning signs of school violence.
“The first and best line of defense is always a well-trained, highly-alert staff,” said Ken Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services.
The problem: The majority of teachers and other school administrators are not properly trained. However, because of the amount of time these teachers spend with their students, it is important that they be trained to identify early warning signs that could lead to future problems.
“We cannot have a repeat of Virginia Tech, of Columbine or Newtown, Connecticut,” said Steve Leifman, an American Psychiatric Foundation (AFP) member and judge who serves as chair of the Florida Supreme Court task force on mental health. “Nobody wants to be that one community.”
In this day of reactions to senseless violence, isn’t it time for proactive solutions?
Threat Assessment Training Can Help End School Violence
Threat assessment is based on the belief that most incidents of targeted violence are premeditated and that there are warning signs. With proper training, school officials, teachers, and even parents can learn to recognize these warning signs and properly deal with potential threatening situations before they occur. The professionals of Defender, L.L.C. train educators, parents/guardians and school staffs to recognize these indicators in behavior and teach them how to address such issues in a positive and proactive environment.
Our program will help to identify issues that arise during the course of students’ lives and teach techniques to assist in a positive and proactive manner.
“I think they [students] want to get in touch with us,” explained Dr. Frank Robertz, co-founder of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Applied Criminology in Berlin, referring to students who carry out acts of targeted violence. “They send us signals along the way.”
If you have any questions about how Threat Assessment Training can put an end to School Violence, please contact Defender, L.L.C. by calling 410-381-8003. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, put us in your Google+ circle, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more great information.