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The National School Safety Center offers the following checklist derived from tracking school-associated violent deaths in the United States from July 1992 to the present. After studying common characteristics of youth who have caused such deaths, NSSC has identified the following behaviors, which could indicate a youth’s potential for harming him/herself or others.
Accounts of these tragic incidents repeatedly indicate that in most cases, a troubled youth has demonstrated or has talked to others about problems with bullying and feelings of isolation, anger, depression and frustration. While there is no foolproof system for identifying potentially dangerous students who may harm themselves and/or others, this checklist provides a starting point.
These characteristics should serve to alert school administrators, teachers and support staff to address needs of troubled students through
Further, such behavior should also provide an early warning signal that safe school plans and crisis prevention/ intervention procedures must be in place to protect the health and safety of all school students and staff members so that schools remain safe havens for learning.
Parents can take positive action! If your child has any of these warning signs, you can:
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Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: 2005-06 ~ This report uses data from the 2005–06 School Survey on Crime and Safety to examine a range of issues dealing with school crime and safety, such as the frequency of school crime and violence, disciplinary actions, and school practices related to the prevention and reduction of crime and safety.
Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools ~ Research-based practices designed to assist school communities identify these warning signs early and develop prevention, intervention and crisis response plans.
Parent Involvement in School Safety: What Every Parent Should Know, What Every Parent Should Say (pdf) ~ The simplest and maybe best form of involvement that parents can pursue is gaining knowledge about what their children's schools are doing in the arena of school safety and talking with their children about school safety.
School Crime and Violence Statistics ~ This report presents data on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population from an array of sources.
School Associated Violent Deaths ~ A school-associated violent death is any homicide, suicide, or weapons-related violent death in the United States in which the fatal injury occurred.
The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective ~ Violent behavior develops progressively. Making a threat represents a stage in an evolutionary process and there are observable signs along the way that most of us can see if we know what to look for.
School Violence from the Perspective of William Glasser (pdf) ~ Dr. Glasser contends that unhappiness, combined with the strong feeling in the perpetrator that others should be punished for the way he feels, is by far the main reason that anyone strikes out at another human being, and that Choice Theory should be the basis for an effective violence protection program.