What’s Helpful from the 2019 Secret Service School Shooter Study (And What’s Needed)

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A few days ago the Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) released it’s “newest” study, analyzing data from school shootings from 2008-2017.

NTAC’s  study has good points, but is summarized in this short quote from Lina Alathari, the center’s head, to Associated Press:
There’s no clear profile of a school attacker, but some details stand out: Many were absent from school before the attack, often through a school suspension; they were treated poorly by their peers in person, not just online; they felt mistreated; some sought fame, while others were suicidal.
The key is knowing what to look for, recognizing the patterns and intervening early to try to stop someone from pursuing violence.

Key points to take from the study are that:

  •  There are patterns that indicate warning signs.
  • Early detection and care can lead to prevention.
  • Suspensions may trigger the actual incident.
  • There is no clear profile of a school attacker.

For all those concerned with school safety, the study is worth understanding. As John Sexton wrote in his article on HotAir.com, “This information needs to be studied by school administrators and resource officers around the country.”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”608″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” label=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1617096511057{padding-top: 50px !important;padding-bottom: 50px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”615″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” label=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ text_align=”justify”][vc_custom_heading text=”School Administrators And Districts Responsible” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]For the schools that can afford it, staffing buildings with tactical officers is the safest solution, though we also recognize that few schools will take it. To be clear, we are not talking about uniformed targets, civilians with no body armor or weapons, much less the training to be effective. Indeed, now infamous Deputy Scott Peterson (the officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman-Douglass High School in Parkland, FL) is an example of what we don’t want: someone unprepared to deal with attackers (please note, we hold no animosity towards Deputy Peterson, nor do we believe he should be held accountable for any of the injuries or deaths; he was not ready nor properly prepared, regardless of his number of years as a police officer). Indeed, if a police officer of more than two decades of service isn’t prepared to act in a violent encounter, how can our school staff be expected to?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1617096664841{padding-top: 50px !important;padding-bottom: 50px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″ text_align=”justify”][vc_custom_heading text=”Administrations Action” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]

What a study of the recent shootings finds is that ACTION by those who first see the attacker is what saves lives.

This is an uncomfortable statement for many people, especially those in politics.

That statement means that while the best case may prevent any injury, like Keanon Lowe 2 in Oregon, it also means that someone may be injured like Frank Montoya’s son, a 17-year-old junior, was shot three times trying to stop the attack at Highlands Ranch STEM school 3 . We want to acknowledge his heroism and bravery along with Brendan Bialy (now USMC), who assisted him. It may also mean that we are preparing some to give their lives for others, like 21-year-old hero Riley Howell of Waynesville, NC 4 , or 18-year-old hero Kendrick Castillo, of Highlands Ranch, CO.

While it may not be politically correct to make the statement that confronting the attacker saves lives, and while money-hungry lawyers may try to put liability on those that point to the fact, incidents are bearing that it is indeed fact. Any facts that save lives should be included in any report which claims to provide whatever the common term is for baseline action for schools.

NTAC also seems to want to keep the expertise on the matter, for while they offer beneficial training to assist in profiling (see the quote above) and intervention, there doesn’t seem to be a layman’s (or most importantly in this case, a teacher or student) option. A simple app that anyone can use to gather the indicators and have a counselor review would seem to be essential, especially for the expenditures the organization claims to put towards prevention.

It is to do this truth-seeking research, to find the root cause wherever possible, to investigate the people, mentality and weapons of these attacks, to create real understanding and share the results, that The Coalition of Concerned Citizens was formed and Project S.A.V.E. (Stop Acts of Violence
Everywhere) for our Kids was started.

Indeed, by understanding what’s behind the issue, a determination of regulations and policies, assessment and training can

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