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By Dr. Harry Tennant

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Schools everywhere are taking steps to confront school violence

State funding has increased. Federal funding is increasing. Parents are demanding change. Students are marching saying, "save our lives."

The demand to eliminate school shootings is stronger than ever. Yet, the politicians are stuck on the question of eliminating guns.

Can't anything constructive be done? Yes, it can. Some schools are "hardening the target," making schools more difficult to attack. Others are taking steps to improve their crisis response so that once an attack is in progress, a good crisis response will minimize the casualties.

But we don't want any casualties. We don't want to simply respond more effectively to a shooter with an AR15 and a duffelbag of high capacity magazines. That's not good enough.

The Columbine shooters had prepared for more than a year prior to their attack. Their plan was to detonate a bomb in the cafeteria killing and injuring hundreds, then pick off survivors with their guns. The bomb didn't go off. All of the shocking carnage at Columbine was merely a backup because the bomb, the main event, didn't work. Let's say it had exploded. Would an efficient crisis management plan following a cafeteria explosion been anywhere near satisfactory?

We must prevent school violence, not just respond to it efficiently. The Columbine students-turned-killers planned and prepared and practiced their attack for over a year. Others heard of the plans but they weren't taken seriously enough.

We can prevent school violence if we convince students that they have a duty to warn the school if plans of violence are being made, regardless of whether the reporter thinks they'll really go through with it. We can prevent school violence if we collect evidence and monitor students who concern us and intervene with students who seem to pose a threat and track threats over time to see if the interventions are working.

 

Edclick's School Safety Manager helps identify kids in distress and provide support.

Posted at 12:00 AM Keywords: School Safety Manager , prevention , school violence 0 Comments

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