School Climate & Safety

U.S. Agencies Release Details From School Violence Research

By Darcia Harris Bowman — May 22, 2002 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education have released details of a new report and training guide that will conclude three years of study on the phenomenon of school shootings.

A follow-up to an interim report that was released almost two years ago, the complete findings unveiled last week offered more detail, but few surprises. (“Gunmen in School Attacks Sought Revenge, Revealed Plans,” Oct. 25, 2000.)

The report examines the behavior and thinking of 41 attackers in 37 incidents that took place over the past three decades. The federal agencies focused on “targeted” school shootings, in which schools were specifically chosen as the location of the attack with an individual, group, or the school itself as the target.

In more than three-fourths of the incidents, other individuals—a friend, schoolmate, sibling, or an adult—knew about the attackers’ plans beforehand. The message to schools: While there is no accurate profile of the “school shooter,” there are common warning signs.

School safety experts say those and other findings in the report repeat what most school administrators have already heard.

“At best, this project reinforces what those on the front lines of school safety have known and said for years,” said Kenneth S. Trump, the president of School Safety and Security Services, a Cleveland-based consulting firm. “But it also begs us to ask how much paralysis-by-analysis is needed on these issues.”

The Education Department’s chief expert on school safety disagreed, arguing that a threat-assessment guide expected to be released this month as a companion to the report will be the first of its kind. The guide will be used this summer in 12 regional training sessions for school officials.

“There isn’t a threat- assessment guide out there on the streets anywhere,” said William Modzeleski, the director of the department’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program and a co- author of the report, which is not yet available to the public.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2002 edition of Education Week as U.S. Agencies Release Details From School Violence Research

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety 'Swatting' Hoaxes Disrupt Schools Across the Country. What Educators Need to Know
School lockdowns can cause stress to students, teachers, and families, even if threats don't materialize.
8 min read
A bald man and a woman with long brown hair tearfully hug a teen girl who is wearing a pale beighe backpack. Three women look on with concerned expressions.
A family shares a tearful reunion after Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas, went into lockdown because of a false report of a shooting.
Kin Man Hui/The San Antonio Express-News via AP
School Climate & Safety How to Spend $1 Billion in School Safety Funds: Here's What the Feds Recommend
A "Dear Colleague" letter from the Education Department puts a priority on creating inclusive, equitable school environments.
4 min read
The U.S. Department of Education urged schools to use federal funds to support the social, emotional, mental, and physical health needs of students in a "dear colleague" letter sent Sept. 15.
Third grader Alexis Kelliher points to her feelings while visiting a sensory room at Williams Elementary School in Topeka, Kan.
Charlie Riedel/AP
School Climate & Safety A Pair of Retired Military Officers Makes a Case Against Arming Teachers
Their comments come on a call organized by a national teachers' union pushing back against the school safety strategy.
3 min read
A man in a black polo shirt with short sleeves holds up a hand gun in front of a projector screen that shows a diagram of a gun with labeled parts.
Clark Aposhian, president of Utah Shooting Sport Council, holds a pistol during concealed weapons training for 200 Utah teachers, in West Valley City, Utah.
Rick Bowmer/AP