Threat Assessment and Management are the Best Ways to End School Violence
According to “Violence in U.S. Public Schools,” a survey performed by the National Center for Education Statistics during the 1999-2000 school year, 71% of U.S. public schools reported experiencing at least one violent incident: 92% of secondary schools, 87% of middle schools, and 61% of elementary schools. This study surveyed 2,270 schools throughout the country. The total number of violent incidents reported was 1,466,395.
“This terrifying trend has brought a new urgency to efforts to unravel the roots of such deviance and to help educators, parents and psychologists recognize signs of trouble before a problem escalates,” explains Dr. Frank Robertz, co-founder of the Institute for Violence Prevention and Applied Criminology in Berlin. “Schools are a natural target because adolescents experience the worst slights in school.”
Threat Assessment is the First Step to Safer Schools
Threat assessment is a proactive approach to ending school violence before it takes place. Threat assessment is based on the belief that most incidents of targeted violence are premeditated and that there are warning signs that could alert school officials, teachers, or parents of impending danger.
“Although adolescents may at first hide their destructive fantasies out of fear of rejection, over time they may increasingly feel a need to express them,” says Dr. Robertz.
Most students who carry out these attacks talk with others about their ideas and intentions or record their thoughts in journals, diaries, and even online sources, such as social media, blogs, etc. These cries for help are often the first warning signs of impending danger. However, recognizing such signs is just the first piece of the puzzle. What do you do once a possible threat has been identified?
Threat Management: What to do When a Threatening Situation is Identified
When a threat assessment team identifies the warning signs of a threat and a threat assessment inquiry or investigation corroborates such findings, the next step is to develop a threat management plan: preventing the attack and protecting possible targets. Step 1) Control the situation. Step 2) Protect the possible targets, Step 3) Provide support and guidance.
“For kids in need of help, however, a thoughtful response to the problem is essential,” explains Dr. Robertz. “School psychologists and social workers need to help disillusioned youths find a place for themselves in society, something many of them feel they lack.”
Positive interventions and proactive threat assessment are the best tools for our children’s safety and continued educational development.
Threat Assessment Training Gives Teachers and School Administrators the Tools They Need to Stop School Violence
“Not every school is necessarily adopting best practice,” said Mark McGowan, director of the Child Study Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. “Sometimes they only do part of [the assessment]. Sometimes they think they’re doing it, but they’re not.”
The problem: most administrators, teachers, and other school staff are not properly trained. Defender, L.L.C. can help.
Defender is a privately operated, woman-owned business that proudly employs veterans of the U.S. Military to give our clients the best in behavioral assessment training. We train educators, school staff, and guardians in proactive threat assessment, focusing on positive behavioral interventions and behavioral assessments. We believe these to be the best tools for our children’s promising development.
We know that your teachers work long hours, and their time is precious. And we understand that your school budget is already stretched to its financial limits. Don’t worry. We are more than happy to work with you to find an efficient and affordable solution to ensure your staff has the training they need to help protect your students.
If you have any questions about Threat Management or Threat Assessment Training for public and private schools, please contact Defender, L.L.C. by calling 410-381-8003 or fill out our Contact Form. 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.