Prevention & School Safety

School Shooters: The Warning Signs [6 pp, 509 Kb]

This article was published in the winter–spring 2012 edition of Forensic Digest, and is reprinted with permission.

Ten Lessons Learned from School Shootings and Foiled Attacks [5 pp, 488 Kb]

This is an excerpt from Chapter 8, “What Can Be Done to Prevent School Shootings,” in Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters.

On-Scene Behavior of School Shooters: The Resolution of Rampage Attacks [4 pp, 484 Kb]

This document presents data on how 48 school shootings ended, whether with police intervention, civilian intervention, or perpetrator suicide. It also looks at other aspects of school shootings that can inform first responders on what they might encounter when they arrive at the scene.

A Comparative Analysis of Threat and Risk Assessment Measures [41 pp, 432 Kb]

This article is by Dr. Brian Van Brunt and was originially published in the Journal of Campus Behavioral Intervention, 1, (2013), 111-151. It is reprinted with permission of the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA). The article compares three potential perpetrators of violence across four assessment tools: the Workplace Assessment of Violence Risk (WAVR-21), the Structured Interview of Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35), the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool, and History, Clinical, Risk (HCR-20) version 3. 

Violence Risk Assessment of the Written Word [14 pp, 443 Kb]

The VRAW2 is a newly created instrument by Brian Van Brunt, Ed.D., used to assess e-mails, letters, or creative writing that contain direct threats or violent themes of concern. The article reviews the five factors and corresponding sub-factors used to assess the potential for threat. Scoring considerations and case examples are provided to illustrate how to score each of the sub-factors informing the overall factors. The VRAW2 is then discussed in context of the NaBITA Threat Assessment Tool and the Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35). This article originally appeared in the Journal of Campus Behavioral Intervention, 3 (2015), 12-25. It is reprinted with permission from the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA).

School Shooters on College Campuses [14 pp, 705 Kb]

This article was originally published in the Journal of Campus Behavioral Intervention, 1 (2013), 6-39. It is reprinted here with permission of the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA).

Threat Assessment in Schools [99 pp, 774 Kb]

This document from 2002 is the result of collaboration between the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education.

Prior Knowledge of Potential School-Based Violence [15 pp, 1.4 Mb]

This is a collaboration between the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education. The focus of this 2008 study was investigating students with prior knowledge of impending school attacks.

The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective [52 pp, 193 Kb]

This is the FBI report on school shootings (primary author, Dr. Mary Ellen O'Toole).

The Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative [63 pp, 569 Kb]

This document from 2002 is the result of collaboration between the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education.

Workplace Violence: Issues in Response [80 pp, 6.4 Mb]

This is a report by the FBI. Though it is not focused on school shootings, it provides important guidelines on do’s and don’t’s for implementing threat assessment programs that are also relevant to educational environments. Though school shootings most commonly are committed by current or recent students, several perpetrators have been university employees (e.g., Edward Allaway, Valery Fabrikant, and Amy Bishop). Finally, for anyone working in a school setting, school shootings constitute a form of workplace violence.

Campus Threat Assessment Case Studies [92 pp, 3.5 Mb]

This report was produced by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) of the U.S. Department of Justice. It contains eight case studies as a guide to conducting campus threat assessments. 

School Safety and Security (Massachusetts) [36 pp, 1.2 Mb]

This is the Massachusetts Task Force Report on School Safety and Security.

Pennsylvania State Police School Safety Report [28 pp, 1.2 Mb]

This report focuses on physical security and crisis response.

Campus Attacks: Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Education [40 pp, 681 Kb]

This report was published in 2010 as a joint effort from the Secret Service, Department of Education, and FBI.

Threat Assessment in the Campus Setting [28 pp, 615 Kb]

This white paper was created by the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA) in 2014. It is included here with permission. 

A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013 [47 pp, 2 Mb]

This analysis was published by the FBI.

Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2014 and 2015 [11 pp, 218 Kb]

This is an addendum to the FBI’s study of active shooter incidents from 2000 to 2013. 

Firearm Violence, 1993-2011 [28 pp, 1.39 Mb]

This report from the U.S. Department of Justice is not about violence prevention, but it is included here because it presents statistics on firearm violence. Despite the common perception that gun violence is an ever-increasing phenomenon, the report notes that firearm-related homicides decreased 39% from 1993 to 2011. In addition, it states that school-related homicides of youth between the ages of 5 and 18 decreased from an average of 29 per year in the 1990s to an average of 20 in the first decade of this century (a decline of 31%). 

Recommended Practices for Virginia College Threat Assessment [92 pp, 2.31 Mb]

This document was written by Dewey Cornell, Ph.D., one of the leading experts on school safety and director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project. See also the book Guidelines for Responding to Student Threats of Violence, by Dewey Cornell and Peter Sheras. 

Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013 [208 pp, 4.6 Mb]

This is a report from the U.S. Department of Education that presents data on multiple facets of school safety.

The Final Report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission [277 pp, 2 Mb]

This report presents recommendations on school safety in three domains: Safe School Design and Operation; Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Emergency Response; and Mental Health/Mental Wellness.

Active Shooter: Recommendations and Analysis for Risk Mitigation [182 pp, 2.86 Mb]

This report was produced by the New York City Police Department. Besides the recommendations, the document contains a long listing of active shooter incidents, dividing them into several categories based on the location of the attacks: office buildings, open commercial, factories and warehouses, schools, and other.

Strategic Approaches to Preventing Multiple Casualty Violence [51 pp, 4.64 Mb]

This report by the United States Department of Justice was released in 2013.

The Police Response to Active Shooter Incidents [60 pp, 7.44 Mb]

This report was released in 2014 by the Police Executive Research Forum.

Balancing Student Privacy and School Safety: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for Elementary and Secondary Schools [2 pp, 306 Kb]

Understanding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is essential for threat assessment. This document presents key points relating to primary and secondary educational settings. 

Balancing Student Privacy and School Safety: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for Colleges and Universities [2 pp, 273 Kb]

Understanding the Family Educational and Privacy Rights Act (FERPA) is essential for threat assessment. This document addresses issues relating to FERPA in colleges and universities.

USC Institutional Review [4 pp, 211 Kb]

This brief review was done in the wake of Sunghee Kwon’s attack in 2015 to evaluate the university’s response and recommend improvements.