School Violence – Minimizing Threats, Ensuring Security and Safety
School violence has become an unfortunate but present fact of American life. Since the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, CT, there have been more than 200 school shootings in America.
Addressing existing and evolving vulnerabilities and threats, and securing students, staff and facilities requires a knowledgeable, coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, and a long-term commitment by all parties involved.
Definition of School Violence
School violence is virtually every kind of activity or behavior that involves the intentional use or attempted use of intimidation, threat or physical force – occurring or implied – against a person or persons associated with an educational institution.
School Violence includes:
- Physical and/or psychological bullying on school property and/or on the way to and from school
- Use of any kind of weapon against anyone associated with school functions and/or activities
- Use of digital and/or electronic platforms to direct aggressive acts against anyone associated with a school
School Violence – The Numbers
This is just a representative sample designed to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem:
- In 2014, there were about 486,400 nonfatal violent victimizations at school among students 12 to 18 years of age.
- 31 homicides of school-age youth, ages 5 to 18 years, occurred at school during the 2012-2013 school year.
- Approximately 9% of teachers report that they have been threatened with injury by a student from their school.
- 5% of school teachers report having been physically attacked by a student from their school.
- In 2013, 12% of students ages 12–18 reported that gangs were present at their school during the school year.
- Each day 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied.
New School Violence Challenges
While most school violence challenges have been with us for decades, there are several evolving vulnerabilities that require special attention:
- Violent Extremism, associated with extreme ideologies
- Cyber Bullying, via the multitude of users of the growing number of social media networks
What Can Be Done About School Violence?
While remembering the challenges of school violence cannot be solved entirely, it is certainly possible to take concrete steps that will identify and deal with vulnerabilities, reduce risks and prepare to effectively respond if an incident occurs.
Proactive and intelligent preparedness includes traditional physical protection accompanied by innovative components that examine the cyber-environment, community profile, potential adversary analysis, legal responsibilities and more.
TAL Global’s team of school violence experts has the set of skills required to engage the institution and its community to develop sustainable strategies.
TAL Global’s team will acquire all relevant data from appropriate sources, analyze the information and recommend a short and long-term strategy for the school safety and security vulnerability plan based on three unique vulnerability-safety perspectives:
- The potential adversary
- The institution
- The potential for liability and/or litigation
Our conclusions and recommendations will be presented based upon the prioritization of the following categories:
For over 15 years, TAL Global has successfully conducted multiple school security vulnerability analyses at the K-12, public, private and university level. Our multi-disciplinary team of professionals has the expertise to oversee and conduct the information gathering and analysis required to provide your institution with a comprehensive safety and security vulnerability assessment, supported by plans to implement its risk-reduction recommendations to secure your students, staff and facilities.
TAL Global recognizes that this process consists of a number of sequential examinations, each of which is dependent on the completion of the previous component. To adequately address and manage these components, TAL Global proposes a phased project approach. This approach offers the advantage of allowing continuous stakeholder input at all project stages, and provides schools with the option of extending the project at logical and practical decision points.
In short, we can help you detect, deter and reduce school violence. Done professionally and holistically, securing your school for students and teachers is an eminently achievable goal.
Contact us to discuss your concerns and challenges.