Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU

 
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
Rethinking school safety:
What does the data tell us?
Carl Hermanns
ASU
8/21/18
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
Santa Fe High School

              A student’s voice
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
Santa Fe High School

  It’s been
  happening
  everywhere.
  I’ve always kind
  of felt like
  eventually it was
  going to happen
  here too.
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
The data

     Let’s step back and see what the
              data can tell us
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
The data: 1999 - 2018

                           The Washington Post

 Since 1999, at least 141 children, educators and other people have
  been killed in assaults, and another 287 have been injured.
 Over the past 19 years, 428 people have been killed or
  injured in school shootings

 There are approximately 50 million K-12 public school students

   https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/school-shootings-database/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.cc1387c6323d
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
The data: 2018

                 2018 school shooting statistics
                           Education Week
                 https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedi
                 a/school-shootings-this-year-how-many-and-
                 where.html.
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
Conclusions from the data

 Although schools
  are statistically one
  of the safest places
  kids can be, it
  doesn’t feel that
  way due to the
                          “It’s been happening everywhere.
  random nature of
                          I’ve always kind of felt like
  these events - and      eventually it was going to happen
  perception is reality   here too.”
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
Conclusions from the data

        After Columbine, even though
    incidents of school violence had been
    steadily dropping since 1993 (NCES),
             it didn’t feel that way.

  One result was the COPS in Schools program,
   which increased the number of SRO’s in
   schools by 38% over the next 8 years.
Rethinking school safety: What does the data tell us? - Carl Hermanns ASU
Conclusions from the data

    Over the next 18 years, a number of
    additional approaches were instituted in
    an effort to keep schools safe, including:
            Threat assessments
            Metal detectors
            Secure campus entrances
            Safety drills
            Security cameras

How are we continuing to grapple with this today?
Active shooting drills
                                                              “School shooting drills
                                                              became the new normal
                                                                 after Columbine”

Public school Active Shooter drills
   2003-04: 46.5%
   2013-14: 70.3%
   2015-16: 94.6%*

NCES: 2015-16 = ”lockdown drills” – a broader
category that includes, but is not limited to,
active shooter response

               https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/16/17016382/school-shooting-drills-training
Calculating the risk of getting shot

                                                               Students raised with the
                                                               persistence of mass shootings
                                                               and versed in the protocol of
                                                               active shooter drills think often
                                                               of the possibility of a shooting
                                                               in their schools ...even running
                                                               scenarios in their heads about
                                                               how likely they are to get shot.
                                                               They calculate escape routes.
                                                               And they ponder hiding spots
                                                               in wide-open classrooms.

 “It’s like the front lines of a war,” said Emily Rubinstein, a sophomore
 at a New York high school. “Being seated in front of the classroom
 could be what makes you live and what makes you die.”

           https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/us/school-shootings-drills-risks.html
STOP School Violence Act

                      Appropriates $50 million/year
                           for 10 years to:
                     Provide training to identify and
                      intervene to stop school violence
                     Improve school security technology
                      and infrastructure to deter and
                      respond to threats of school violence
                     Develop and operate threat
                      assessment and crisis intervention
                      teams
                     Facilitate coordination between
                      schools and local law enforcement
Texas Governor’s plan
                                                             At the heart of the governor’s
                                                             proposal is “hardening” schools like
                                                             Santa Fe as targets by:
                                                              Guarding them with increased
                                                                police presence, and
                                                              Persuading more school districts
                                                                to join existing state programs for
                                                                arming school staff.

                                                             The governor also proposes:
Texas Governor Greg
                                                              Providing active shooter
Abbott announced a                                             training, and
new school safety plan                                        Including a heavy emphasis on
on May 30, 2018                                                expanded mental health
                                                               screening and on-campus
                                                               counseling.
      https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/30/texas-gov-greg-abbott-santa-fe-shooting-school-safety-plan-gun-laws/
High-tech security

     Schools are spending
billions on high-tech security
  The uncertainty over how to
prevent school shootings and the
  horrifying consequences of
 failing to do so – has created a
       business opportunity.

  School districts are staking their hopes on high-tech security
  systems originally developed for the military, police and
  private industry, and are driving a rapidly growing school
  security market, which has ballooned to a multibillion-dollar
  industry.

     https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/schools-are-spending-billions-high-tech-security-are-students-any-n875611
High-tech security

     Schools are spending
billions on high-tech security

 Digitized building layouts paired
 with surveillance cameras allows
 police to get to the source of a
 problem quickly.

  “It’s about expediency. The sooner the police get there, the
  sooner the carnage ends.”
  “You cannot predict where this is going to happen. You can’t
  sit and think, ‘Phew that won’t happen here,’ because it
  absolutely could.”

       https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/schools-are-spending-billions-high-tech-security-are-students-any-n875611
High-tech security
   On the other hand
Santa Fe High School was already
using several security practices that
are often proposed in the wake of
school shootings.
 The school has two armed police
   officers patrolling a campus of
   1,400 students.
 The staff is trained in emergency
   response,
 students practice lockdown and                                 ”So what else could the
   active-shooter drills, and
                                                                 district have done to protect
 the school district has been
                                                                 teachers and students?
   praised by Texas officials for its
   safety program

        https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/05/30/a-deadly-school-year-35-people-killed.html?cmp=eml-enl-eu-
                                            news1&M=58500585&U=1965185
The Safe School Initiative report (2002)
                            • The attackers came from a variety of
                              family situations; almost two-thirds
                              came from two-parent families
                            • Wide range in academic achievement;
                              the largest percentage (41%) were
                              doing well in school
                            • Varied in social relationships, from
                              socially isolated to popular
                            • Wide range in discipline histories;
                              almost two-thirds (63%) were never,
                              or rarely, in trouble at school; only
                              27% had ever been suspended
                            • Only 1/3 of attackers had ever
                              received a mental health evaluation;
                              fewer than 1/5 had been diagnosed
There is no one “profile”
                              with a mental health or behavior
                              disorder.
The Safe School Initiative report (2002)
                              Commonalities:
                              • Most had difficulty coping with
                                significant losses or personal failures,
                                and many (71%) felt bullied,
                                persecuted, or injured by others.
                              • Almost all (95%) were current
                                students at the school where they
                                carried out their attacks.
                              • In many cases, other students knew
                                about it, or were involved in some
                                capacity.
                              • Most had access to, and had used,
                                weapons prior to the attack.
                              • Age range is 11 to 21, with 85%
but there are commonalities     between 13 and 18 at the time of the
                                attack. The median age is 16.
The Safe School Initiative report (2002)
                    Conclusion:
                    The focus of the Safe School Initiative
                    was on examining the thinking, planning,
                    and other behaviors engaged in by
                    students who carried out school attacks.
                    Particular attention was given to
                    identifying pre-attack behaviors and
                    communications that might be detectable
                    – or “knowable” – and could help in
                    preventing some future attacks.
                    In light of the reports findings, the use of
                    a threat assessment approach may be
                    a promising strategy for preventing a
                    school-based attack.
Threat Assessment in Schools (2004)
                  “The vast majority of the nation’s
                  students will complete their schooling
                  without ever being touched by peer
                  violence.
                  Nevertheless, recent school attacks
                  carried out by students have shaken
                  the image of schools as reliably safe
                  and secure environments in which the
                  qualifications of teachers and the
                  efficacy of the educational curricula
                  are the most pressing concerns of
                  educators and parents.
                  Televised images of frightened and
                  injured students fleeing school
                  grounds have imprinted themselves on
                  the American consciousness.”
Threat Assessment in Schools (2004)
                  [These] highly publicized school
                  shootings have created uncertainty
                  about the safety and security of this
                  country’s schools and generated fear
                  that an attack might occur in any
                  school, in any community.
                  Increased national attention to the
                  problem of school violence has
                  prompted educators, law enforcement
                  officials, mental health professionals,
                  and parents to press for answers to
                  two central questions: "Could we have
                  known that these attacks were being
                  planned?" and, if so, "What could we
                  have done to prevent these attacks
                  from occurring?"
Threat Assessment in Schools (2004)

                  Threat Assessment:
                  Drawing on the findings from the Safe
                  School Initiative study, the threat
                  assessment process relies primarily on
                  an appraisal of behaviors, rather than
                  on stated threats or traits, as the basis
                  for determining whether there is cause
                  for concern.
                  Threat assessment is a process for
                  identifying, assessing, and managing
                  students who may have the intent and
                  capacity to launch an attack and pose
                  a threat of targeted violence in school.
19-year school shooting trajectory analysis
                         INCIDENTS OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
                                 1999 – MAY, 2018
                                              School Shootings    Mean
18
                                                                                                             17
                                                                                         16
                                                                                                                  1999: 7
16                                       15
                                                                                                        14
                                                                                                                  2001: 13
               13                   13                                              13
14                                                                                                 13
          12              12                                                                                      2002: 5
12                                                                            11
                                                                                                                  2006: 15
10
                                                                                                                  2011: 7
                                               10
8
                               9
                                                       9
                                                             9
                                                                  9                                               2014: 16
6
     7
                                                                       7                      7                   2015: 7
4                   5
                                                                                                                  2018: 17
2

0
     99   00   01   02    03   04   05   06      07    08    09   10     11    12   13   14   15   16   17   18

     https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/school-shootings-database/?utm_term=.1168e32e6a0b
19-year school shooting trajectory analysis

                    INCIDENTS OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
                            1999 – MAY, 2018
18                                      School Shootings         Mean                                 17

16                                      15
                                                                                  16
                                                                                                           Discussion:
                                                                                                 14
               13                  13                                        13
14
          12             12
                                                                                            13
                                                                                                           What does this
12                                                                      11
                                                                                                           data suggest?
10

                                             10                                                               Increased SRO presence
8
                              9
                                                  9
                                                       9
                                                            9
                                                                                                              Metal detectors
6                                                                  7                   7
                                                                                                              Secure campus entrances
     7
                                                                                                              Safety/active shooter drills
4                   5                                                                                         Security cameras
                                                                                                              Threat assessments
2
                                                                                                              ?
0
     99   00   01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10     11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18

     https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/school-shootings-database/?utm_term=.1168e32e6a0b
The argument

Everything we have been doing...

      Active shooter

                       And other safety and emergency drills
The argument

Threat assessment process
                            Security enhancements
The argument

      ...is necessary, but not sufficient
The argument

               We focused on the implementation
               of concrete steps for “identifying,
                  addressing, and managing
               students who may have the intent
                and capacity to launch an attack
                 and pose a threat of targeted
                      violence in school”
                     A reactive stance

                     We largely ignored the
                   report’s recommendations
                     on school climate and
                             culture
The argument
               Excerpts on culture and climate from the
                 Threat Assessment Guide handout

                 Effective threat assessment can only
                  occur in a larger context of school
                  safety. Cultures and climates of safety,
                  respect, and emotional support can
                  help diminish the possibility of targeted
                  violence in schools.
                 In an educational setting where there is
                  a climate of safety, adults and students
                  respect each other.
                 Ideally when this climate of safety is
                  created, students experience a sense
                  of emotional "fit."
The argument

                Targeted school violence is arguably
                 only the tip of the iceberg of pain,
                 loneliness, desperation, and despair
                 that many students in this nation’s
                 schools deal with on a daily basis
                The threat assessment process by
                 itself is unlikely to have a lasting
                 effect on the problem of targeted
                 school violence unless that process is
                 implemented in the larger context of
                 strategies to ensure that schools offer
                 their students safe and secure learning
                 environments.
The argument

                Connection through human
                 relationships is a central component
                 of a culture of safety and respect. This
                 connection is the critical emotional
                 glue among students, and between
                 students and adults charged with
                 meeting students’ educational, social,
                 emotional, and safety needs.
                The principal objective of school
                 violence-reduction strategies should be
                 to create cultures and climates of
                 safety, respect, and emotional
                 support within educational institutions.
The argument

                To work effectively, safe
                 school climates that create
                 relationships of respect and
                 connection between adults
                 and students must be
                 accepted as integral to the
                 mission of threat assessment
                 and management, and
                 understood from the top down
                 as integral to the success of
                 the learning experience.
The argument

                                   Reflection:
 relationships of respect   Has your district
  and connection             emphasized the guide’s
  between adults and         recommendations for
  students
                             authentic relationship
   integral to the          and connection among
     mission of threat
                             students and between
     assessment
                             students and teachers at its
   integral to the
                             schools?
     success of the
     learning experience.    If so, what does it look like?
                             If we haven’t, why?
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