The National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) studied 41 actual incidents of targeted school violence that occurred at K-12 schools in the US from 2008-2017. This is 20 years of research. 20 years that we as parents, teachers, law enforcement etc, have been doing little except hope it doesn’t happen again. Until Parkland. And Sandy Hook. And Santa Fe. And now, Saugus. Time for wringing our hands is over. In short, we CAN make a change to save our children.
The NTAC analysis is timely and in a nutshell it has painfully revealed the following:
The 10 NTAC Findings on Targeted School Violence
There is no profile of a student attacker, nor type of school
Attackers usually had multiple motives, the most common being a grievance with a classmate
Most attackers used firearms, and most often obtained from home
Most attackers had experienced psychological, behavioral and or neurological/developmental delays or cognitive deficits
Half of the attackers had interests in violent topics
All attackers experienced social stressors involving their relationships with peers and or romantic partners
Nearly every attacker experienced negative home life factors
Most attackers were victims of bullying, which was often observed by others
Most attackers had a history of school disciplinary actions, and many had prior contact with law enforcement
All attackers exhibited concerning behaviors. Most elicited concern from others, and most communicated their intent to attack (aka, “leakage”).
There is a solution!
Behavioral Threat Assessment (BTA) is a proven solution that can be used to help mitigate threats. BTA can help identify the warning signs outlined in the Secret Service findings and help prevent targeted school violence. The ball is rolling. It would be doubtful, at this stage of the game, to hear people are not preparing to manage these scary situations.