Tag Archives: school safety

NEW A Comprehensive Review Of 30 Years of School Shootings

National School Safety Taskforce

A comprehensive review of nearly three dozen mass shootings, including Columbine, reveals some notable similarities

School shooters typically plan their attacks weeks or months in advance, usually telling someone or hinting at coming violence. Most feel bullied or left out and are seeking revenge. Many have easy access to guns and are fascinated by mass shooters. Many are suicidal or ready to die during their attacks.

Those are the findings of a Wall Street Journal analysis of information about nearly three dozen mass shootings that have taken place at schools since 1990. The deadly shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, which occurred 20 years ago Saturday, was one of them.

School Shooters

Exhibit Similar

Behavior Displayed trait 

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PLANNED IN ADVANCE, BULLIED, SOUGHT REVENGE, EASY ACCESS TO GUNS, TOLD SOMEONE, SUICIDAL SHARED

5 TRAITS Eric Harris Dylan Klebold Caleb Sharpe James Rouse Jesse Osborne Thomas Solomon Jr. Eric Houston Evan Ramsey Charles Williams Jaylen Fryberg

SHARED 4 TRAITS Mitchell Johnson Andrew Golden Barry Loukaitis Luke Woodham Jose Reyes Asa Coon Charles Roberts Kipland Kinkel Jeffrey Weise

SHARED 3 TRAITS Gabriel Parker Jason Hoffman Adam Lanza Nikolas Cruz Dimitrios Pagourtzis Kenneth Bartley Jr. Kevin Janson Neal Keith A. Ledeger

SHARED 2 TRAITS Thomas Lane III Michael Carneal Steven Williams James Tate Cedric Anderson Kevin Newman

SHARED 1 TRAIT Kenneth Wolford unnamed 15-year-old unnamed 16-year-old

NO DATA AVAILABLE unnamed 12-year-old Dedrick Dashaun Nelson Rakish Jenkins

The Journal reviewed information made public by courts or law-enforcement agencies about school shootings that left three or more victims killed or injured. The material included 22 hours of video, 108 minutes of audio and about 10,000 pages of documents—text messages, journals, court records and transcripts of police interviews.

The shooters, 39 in all, left 116 dead and 229 injured. Last year, 77 people in the U.S. died or were injured in mass school shootings that left three or more victims, more than in any other year in the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s statistics, which go back to 1970.

The Journal’s analysis of information about the 39 shooters revealed many common elements.

At least 34 of 39planned the attack in advance

In the days before 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg killed four students at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Wash., on Oct. 24, 2014, he engaged in ominous text-message exchanges with an ex-girlfriend.

Text messages between Jaylen Fryberg and his ex-girlfriend

  • Just please talk me out of this…
  • The guns in my hand..
  • Please….

Jaylen

  • Jay

Jaylen’s ex-girlfriend

  • What.

Jaylen

Source: Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team

Two days before the rampage, he texted her: “I set the date.”

Moments before the first shot, he sent a message to members of his family with details for his funeral and an apology to some parents of students he planned to kill. “I want to be fully dressed in Camo in my casket,” it said in part.

Within two minutes, the first 911 calls come from the school. Fryberg had invited three friends and two of his cousins to sit with him at a table in the lunchroom. He shot each of them in the head. Four of them died. Then he killed himself.

There is considerable evidence that Nikolas Cruz, too, did a lot of planning before the school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, that left 17 dead in Parkland, Fla.

“Hello. My name is Nick and I’m gonna be the next school shooter of 2018,” he said in a cellphone video three days before the attack. “My goal is at least 20 people with an AR-15 and a couple tracer rounds.”“It’s gonna be a big event. You’re all going to die.”—Nikolas Cruz

Source: 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Broward County, Fla.

Cruz’s cellphone content and search history indicate he researched shooting people months before the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. The month before the shooting, he made a cellphone note to himself about a “basketball court full of targets.” One day later, he said in another note, “Everything and everyone is happy except for me I want to kill people but I don’t know how I can do it.” The day of the shooting, his internet activity included a search on “school shooter.”

More than a month before the shooting, an unidentified woman had called an FBI tip line to warn about Cruz’s professed desire to kill people and his disturbing social-media posts, saying she worried he would shoot up a school. The FBI didn’t follow up on the tip.“I just want to, you know, get it off my chest in case something does happen and I do believe something’s going to happen, but…—unidentified woman tipping off the FBI about Nikolas Cruz

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A state safety commission later found that at least 30 people knew of Cruz’s troubling behavior before the shooting, and they either didn’t report it or their reports weren’t acted upon.

Writings by school shooters recovered by law-enforcement officials.

Source: Courts, law enforcement agencies

At least 21 of 39 felt bullied

Twelve-year-old Jose Reyes left behind two letters in his backpack after a 2013 attack at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev., that left two students injured and a teacher dead. He also killed himself.

In a letter to teachers and students, he said he was seeking revenge for the mean things they had said, and that “today is the day when I kill you.”

Source: Sparks Police Department, Sparks, Nev.

TRANSCRIPTION

Dear teachers and students today is the day
when I kill you bastards for the embarressment
that you did. You say mean things in school.
That I’m gay, that I’m lazy. Stupid, idiot,
and also say that I pee my pants and also
stealing my money. Well that all ends.
Today I will get revenage on the students and
teachers for ruinning my life. Today I will
bring a god damn pistol and rifle to shoot you
and see how you like it when someone making
fun of you. Once I kill you your life will
be noting but nightmare and bad dreams.
I don’t care if I have alots of bullets to
shoot all of you cause I’m going to die tring on
my last stand. And right now this school will
now come to an end and your death will
be rising when I shoot you. Have a great
death at school.

In 1997, 16-year-old Evan Ramsey entered Bethel Regional High School in Bethel, Alaska, with a shotgun hidden under his jacket. He walked into a common area and opened fire, killing one student and injuring two others. He continued on to the main office, where he shot the principal, Ronald Edwards, who died in his office.

A note found in his bedroom after the attack indicated he was seeking revenge against the principal and others. It said he believed he would die after the attack. He lived.

A note found in school shooter Evan Ramsey’s bedroom.

Source: Court of Appeals, State of Alaska

At least 22 of 39told someone or hinted at plans

Many of the shooters told someone or hinted at their plans, either in conversations with friends or in online communications, in some cases in an effort to keep friends safe. In 1998, 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson and 11-year-old Andrew Golden killed five and injured 10 at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark. In a later deposition, Johnson said he had warned a couple of people the day before the shooting “please don’t come to school” the next day.

In 2016, 14-year-old home-schooler Jesse Osborne took a gun from his father’s nightstand and shot him dead. Then, after kissing his pets, he drove his father’s truck to Townville Elementary School in Townville, S.C., where he killed one person and injured three.

He told the police that a group of people from various countries had encouraged his plan in Instagram exchanges.

Instagram exchange between school shooter Jesse Osborne and an unnamed person.

  • Should i shoot up my elementary school or my middle school
  • The middle school has tons of cops
  • The elementry doesnt
  • And the elementry school is 4 mins away from my house
  • The middle schools 1 hr away
  • Elementary those **** are just disgusting little kids who grow up to be little **** when they’re older
  • Yep thats what i was thinking
  • And yeah it’s easier to go to the closest

Source: WYFF-TV, Greenville, S.C.

At least 26 of 39had easy access to guns

The Journal analysis found school shooters mostly used guns owned by family members.

Police found a large number of firearms in the home that Adam Lanza shared with his mother, whom he killed before killing 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. The socially isolated 20-year-old, who had been diagnosed with mental illness, had spent time online researching school shootings, including downloading the investigation of the Columbine attack. He kept a detailed spreadsheet on killers, sorted in order of the number killed.

School shooter Adam Lanza kept a spreadsheet of mass killers.

Source: Connecticut State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

In the home where Kipland Kinkel lived with his parents, police found a large collection of guns and knives, and ingredients for making explosive devices. The 15-year-old, who was diagnosed with mental-health problems, first killed his parents, then killed two people and injured 26 in a rampage at Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., in May 1998.

In an interview with a police detective after the shooting, he said that he got his weapons from home.

Kipland Kinkel’s Confession to Police

  • Okay….So your dad has guns, right?
  • Yes.
  • And where does he keep his guns?
  • He usually keeps them in his tennis locker at the swim and tennis club. But we could always shoot it once in awhile and so they were home

Source: Springfield Police Department, Springfield, Ore.

At least 22 of 39felt suicidal

Eric Houston knew it was possible he would die in a 1992 attack on his former school, Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, Calif. A note was found in the 20-year-old’s bedroom after he stormed the school, killing four and wounding several others. “If I die today please bury me somewhere beautiful,” he wrote. He lived, as did 72% of shooters in the incidents reviewed by the Journal.

In February 2012, Thomas Lane, then 17, went on a shooting rampage in the cafeteria of Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, killing three students and injuring three others. Afterward, he sat in a ditch about a mile away and loaded a gun to kill himself. He didn’t do it.

Nick Walczak had limped from the cafeteria with three gunshot wounds, only to be chased down by Lane and shot in the back. The last shot left him paralyzed.

“None of us were ever mean to him,” Mr. Walczak says of the shooter. “If you had asked me a day before, I would have told you that he’s a good kid.”

Methodology: Planned in advance indicates the shooter planned the attack well in advance, including plotting to get weapons, researching other shooters, setting a date for the attack or writing a letter explaining the motive for the attack. Bullied, sought revenge indicates the shooter felt bullied or sought revenge for a perceived wrong. Easy access to guns indicates the shooter knew where unsecured guns were in the house, had access to home gun safes or purchased the guns themselves. Told someone indicates the shooter told at least one person about the coming attack, or alluded to it, verbally or in writings, text messages, video recordings or on social media. Suicidal indicates the shooter planned to commit suicide after the attack or be killed by police.

By Tawnell D. Hobbs WSJ

51% of School Violence incidents flared in just 10 states last year. Is your state one of them?

National School Safety Taskforce

Fifty-one percent of all incidents of violence and threats against schools took place in just 10 states during the 2017-18 school year.

California, Florida, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia, which are ranked the top 10 “states of concern,” accounted for 1,851 threats and episodes of violence out of 3,654 nationwide.

Ranks of states by how many threats against schools and violent incidents occurred per million residents, showing whether states have a proportionate number of threats and incidents based on their size:

In this category, the top states were Michigan, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, Washington, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado and Idaho during the 2017-18 school year.

Nine of these 11 states saw upticks in their ranking from the 2016-17 school year to the 2017-18 school year. Michigan was in 10th place last year, but it is in first place this year. Mississippi and Kentucky were in 44th place and 39th place last year, and they are in sixth place and fourth place this year.

In March, the House passed the STOP School Violence Act to give more than $1 billion to schools and local governments over the next decade for violence prevention.

, USA TODAY

PARENT ALERT: More Than 2,000 Weapons Seized From Schools

Leeds teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death by a pupil in 2014

Samurai swords, axes and air guns are among the 2,579 weapons seized from schools in England and Wales, Freedom of Information requests have shown.

 

Press Association analysis of data from 32 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales said the weapons had been found in two years to March 2017.

Police chiefs said there had been a “worrying” increase in young people carrying knives.

There are about 25,850 schools in England and Wales.

Heads said children’s safety was their top priority and that schools worked closely with police to protect pupils.

In 2016-17 alone, 1,369 weapons were found – a rise of almost 20% on the previous year.

A fifth of the overall incidents related to knives or swords.

Other weapons confiscated included at least 26 guns, including air guns and an imitation firearm.

More unusual seizures included a police baton, a rolling pin, a can of beer and a 15in (38cm) metal rod.

At least 47 children below the age of 10 – the age at which someone can be prosecuted – were found with weapons.

This included three five-year-olds, one of whom was caught with a knife, while another was found with a “missile” – typically a brick or a rock.

The Metropolitan Police and Greater Manchester Police were among the forces to respond to the survey.

Police help

Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock, the National Police Chiefs Council lead for knife crime, said: “Carrying a weapon of any kind in schools is not an issue for a school to deal with alone; police and partners will always be willing to work with them and take appropriate action.

“We have recently seen an increase in young people carrying knives, and this is worrying.

“We are responding to this trend by targeting those who carry them illegally and working with retailers to reduce the sale of knives to under-age people, through nationally co-ordinated operations.

“Police involvement in schools, whether it be officers delivering talks and interactive sessions or based in schools themselves as part of the Safer Schools Partnership, helps us to educate young people and explain why carrying a weapon illegally is never acceptable.”

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Schools work closely with the police to protect and educate their pupils, and in some cases police officers are stationed in schools.

“Where appropriate, schools conduct searches and use metal detectors, and they implement robust disciplinary procedures against anyone found in possession of a weapon.”

The figures come amid a crackdown on knife crime in schools by some forces.

Earlier this month, the Metropolitan Police announced officers would be working with schools to highlight the potential consequences of carrying a knife.

It follows the case of Ann Maguire, who was stabbed to death at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds in April 2014 by a 15-year-old pupil.

The following year, teacher Vincent Uzomah was seriously injured when he was stabbed at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford by a racist pupil.

BBC.com

 

 

TRUANCY: THE ROOT OF ALL SCHOOL SAFETY PROBLEMS!

School Safety SERAPH

“No child falls through the cracks. They are dropped through or shoved through by lazy, emotionally immature adults and unethical professionals”

After the Columbine shootings I made this statement during an interview on national television. The reporter asked if I really believed that statement and I replied, “absolutely!”

But you may ask what this statement has to do with the issue of truancy? Simple, truant children – who are routinely late or absent – come from dysfunctional homes. Those homes in my experience are led by caregivers who are more concerned about their own pleasures and convenience than the welfare of their children. Some may say that this is an unkind assessment. My response to them is simple, visit these homes and you will see that this is not an aberration.

While some caregivers have a difficult time because of poverty, work schedules or transitioning to a single parent household; the majority simply refuse to exercise self control or basic order in their homes.

And this assessment is supported by various national studies. Research from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the U.S. Department of Education have found that child neglect and family disorganization are major factors in truancy. The OJJDP also found that “Truancy has been clearly identified as one of the early warning signs of students headed for potential delinquent activity, social isolation, or educational failure via suspension, expulsion, or dropping out.”

More disturbing is a document that I have used for many years in criminal profiling, the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol (J-SOAP-II). In this well respected assessment tool, caregiver issues and truancy become connected as impetuses for teen sex offender development:

  1. Inconstant and in-stable caregivers before the age of 10.
  2. Multiple changes in caregivers and living situations.
  3. Chronic truancy, fighting with peers or teachers.

Dr Gerald Patterson sums up the issue this way, “Parenting plays a critical role in the development process of children. Early discipline failures are a primary casual factor in the development of conduct problems. Harsh discipline, low supervision, lack of parental involvement all add to the development of aggressive children”

Bullying, sexual harassment, negative behavior cliques and aggression towards staff are all done by children who come from dysfunctional homes.  But beyond the home environment, schools have a big stake in controlling truancy. Not only is it a major part of NCLB compliance but it affects all school safety issues. The USDOE has tracked the following school issues that directly contribute to truancy.

  1. Lack of effective and consistently applied attendance policies.
  2. Poor record-keeping, making truancy difficult to spot.
  3. Teacher characteristics, such as lack of respect for students and neglect of diverse student needs.
  4. Unsafe environment, for example a school with ineffective discipline policies where bullying is tolerated. [5 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 skipped school because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to or from school.]

Truancy happens in rural, suburban and urban schools and all classes of families. School must take control of their truancy problems or they are bound to be overtaken by it.

U.S. Justice Dept Study Indicates Zero Tolerance Policies May Have An Adverse Effect On Students

Zero Tolerance Bad Idea
Zero Tolerance Bad Idea

A recently published research brief by Child Trends, “Multiple Responses, Promising Results: Evidence-Based, Non punitive Alternatives To Zero Tolerance,” suggests that zero tolerance school discipline policies have not been proven effective by research and may have negative effects, making students more likely to drop out and less likely to graduate on time. Instead, the brief recommends the use of non-punitive disciplinary action, such as behavior interventions, social skills classes, and character education.

3 Questions Every Parent Should Ask School Board Members About Their Children’s Safety

School Safety SERAPH
School Safety SERAPH

Get a group of parents together write a letter [this is required by Federal and State law IDEA] with these questions then submit it to your school board:

  1. What proof of Prevention policies and training do they have? [denial of entry to a school]
  2. Do they have a formal process for outside security walks every 15-30 minutes? [if the school has security guards make them show you the plan]
  3. Has a Federal level [U.S. Department of Education –  United States Department of Justice] security MANAGEMENT audit been done in the last 12 months?

Don’t assume the leadership has done this. GET THE FACTS!

Dale Yeager Briefs Congress on Education @ DNC

Dale Yeager @ DNC 2016
Dale Yeager @ DNC 2016

I was honored to be a member of the SMARTStates Congressional initiative Bi Partisan STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education] Delegation Education Group.

We briefed members of congress at the DNC convention in Philadelphia on education issues. Specifically Special needs students and school safety.

JONBENET RAMSEY INVESTIGATOR BEGINS NATIONAL SEMINAR SERIES TEACHING FORENSIC PROFILING TO THE PUBLIC

Dale Yeager a Forensic Profiler, who worked for the Boulder District Attorney’s office in 1997 on the original murder investigation of JonBenet Ramsey, is teaching the general public forensic profiling in a series of national seminars.

The PROFILING YOUR LIFE Series will provide various seminars for adults and children focusing on Bullying, School / College Student Safety and Personal Safety for adults.

“I saw the potential for Mr. Yeager to teach a version of his Federal Law Enforcement programs to regular people”, states series organizer Tara Levy.  “What I saw being taught to children and adults as ‘self defense’ in the U.S. seemed lacking to me once I met Dale Yeager and heard what he knew about criminal behavior. I knew Dale could teach people reality based actions to protect themselves.”

The seminar series began in New York City. Additional seminars have been performed in New York City and Philadelphia. With plans to expand the series to the Midwest in 2016.

“As a professional I am routinely asked by parents and students about self defense and profiling and sadly what people know is ‘myths’ not facts.”, says Yeager. “The first rule of self defense is ‘ don’t become a victim’ and that requires the ability to accurately assess people for dangerous behavior.  And if you have to fight use techniques that work for law enforcement which doesn’t include kicking them in the groin like fathers’ tell their daughters to do.”

The series includes several seminars;

  1. STOP BULLYING TODAY – A child and parent seminar for children ages 4-11.
  2. PROTECT YOUR TEENAGER FROM BULLYING AND DANGER – A seminar for parents and adolescents ages 12-17.
  3. KEEP YOUR DAUGHTER SAFE AT COLLEGE – A college student focused seminar.
  4. “PROFILING YOUR LIFE” How To Use Criminal Profiling To Protect Yourself And Your Family From Violent People, Con Artists and Dangerous Co Workers – A seminar for ages 18 and up.

“I decided to make the seminars family focused – working together and learning together,” explains Yeager.  “The idea was to bring quality and reality to the issue of personal safety whether it was a third grader or a senior citizen.”

Rape On College Campuses: The Harvard Dirty Secret

stop_sign_women-defend-yourself

Many parents are unaware of what is really happening on college campuses in the U.S. related to their daughters safety. They are inundated with inaccurate information from news sources and talk shows.

What is really going on? This op-ed is a must read:

Harvard to Girls: Go Where The Rapes Are

by Naomi Schaefer Riley

Want to know why students supposedly experience sexual assault with “alarming frequency” at Harvard University?

A special task force set up by the school’s president to address the question blames, at least in part, its Final Clubs — the university’s nonresident version of fraternities.

There is, according to a report released last week, “a strong sense of sexual entitlement within some of the male Final Clubs, stemming in part from the members’ control of social spaces that are imbued with a certain historical tradition and that elevate members’ social status on campus.”

In other words, blame the frats.

It’s not clear how the geniuses who wrote this report can draw a direct line between historically imbued social status and incidences of rape, but this is just the university’s latest in a series of public statements that will make people wonder whether Harvard’s reputation as being a place with smart people is at all deserved.

The school has spent the better part of two years and God knows how many hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the “sexual assault” problem on its campus. First it conducted a shockingly bad student survey — full of unclear and leading questions that put asking someone on a date and complimenting someone on their looks in the same category as rape.

Then its president sent a letter to the community citing the shoddy evidence, noting “the alarming frequency with which our students, especially but by no means only our undergraduates, experience incidents of sexual assault.”

And now there’s a report from the president’s task force detailing steps the college should take to address the problem.

It turns out that other than dorms, Final Clubs are the most likely place for students to experience sexual assault. Well, aside from dormitories, they’re pretty much the only private space on the campus. If you’re going to assault someone, the cafeteria is not a great idea. And the English Department offices are usually locked after hours.

Perhaps this sounds flip, but most of these assaults aren’t assaults at all. They’re unwanted sexual contact between intoxicated people, as the report demonstrates. But the idea that these all-male institutions, which exist independent of the university, get to admit women to parties based on their looks has goaded liberals for so long that they are going to use “rape culture” as an excuse to make them co-ed or shut them down altogether.

Newsflash: Even if women were in “positions of power,” drunken sexual encounters and even sexual assault would still be a problem at these clubs.

Across the country, fraternities were forced to go co-ed in the ’80s and ’90s. Administrators thought they would “introduce the civilizing force of women into fraternities,” as Caitlin Flanagan explains. Flanagan, who has written extensively on the problems caused by fraternities on campus for the Atlantic, notes that “college women are no longer a civilizing force. They drink really heavily and they love to prove that they are just as gross as the guys.”

Middlebury forced all of its fraternities to go co-ed and become “social houses.” At one, I recall, when Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” started playing at any of its parties, all the women in the room would spontaneously remove their shirts. The patriarchy didn’t make them do it.

Of course, the idea that admitting women to all-male clubs is going to solve the problem of sexual assault is absurd. As Flanagan argues, “if these outfits are actually such centers of sexual assault, why in God’s name would the university recommend that its female students join one of them? ‘Women get raped at this location. We must send more women to this location.’ What’s next? Sending women students to areas with a high murder rate?”

If these task force members really believed that women were being regularly raped at Final Clubs, the university president would be on the phone with local police. Harvard men would be escorted out in handcuffs.

But no one really thinks that. They just believe Final Clubs are the location for a lot of drunken hook-ups. And they are.

If the college wants to protect women from such encounters, the best response wouldn’t be to force more women on the boards of these institutions but to suggest a boycott instead. That’ll teach ’em.