The Secret Service is releasing new guidelines on enhancing school safety, based on research from the National Threat Assessment Center.
Lina Alathari, the author of the operational guide, said that although guns were used in the majority of crimes studied, the report also includes attacks carried out using a lethal weapon such as a knife, gun or explosives, ABC News reports.
After the Columbine shooting, the Secret Service approached the Department of Education and offered to study school shooters using the same methods they use to study assassins. “No one had really studied school shooters from an operational preventive perspective before,” says Alathari.
The report’s purpose is to show a “blueprint” for how schools can establish threat assessment programs so they can identify students who may be expressing distress or engaging in concerning behavior.
Threat assessment teams “should include personnel from a variety of disciplines within the school community, including teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, school resource officers, mental health professionals and school administrators,” the report says.
The report also recommends creating a central reporting mechanism, such as an online form, a dedicated email address or phone number, or a smartphone application, to help students and staff report troubling behavior.