Warning Signs

Secret Service releases study on school shootings

Charlee Conroy, Assistant Editor

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The Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center recently released a study about school shootings, and how the attackers showed warning signs before their violent actions. Many of these attacks happened by students who were severely bullied and showed disciplinary issues that were not reported.

The Secret Service Center was formed to study mass attacks. This center focuses on studying signs and patterns that could lead to violent actions to help people prevent these mass attacks from happening. 

The report by the Secret Service researched 41 schools that were attacked between 2008 through 2017. In the study, the researchers found that many of the attacks were imitations of previous school shootings. This included Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and more. 

“These are not sudden, impulsive acts where a student suddenly gets disgruntled,” Lina Alathari, the Center’s Head, said in an article by the Associated Press. “The majority of these incidents are preventable.”

The research focused on school attacks that were committed by a current or recent former student within a year and at least one student was killed in the attack. There have also been attacks on schools by non-students and these were not included in the research.

The question and answers that this research brings up is if school shootings can be prevented if warning signs are reported early on. In my opinion school shootings can be almost completely avoided with awareness around the school setting. 

Many types of methods have been given to schools to help students with their mindsets, and to be aware about situations that they might be in. Also security has increased in most schools to catch anyone with bad intentions. Still this does not seem to be enough to stop these tragic accidents from occurring all over the United States. 

As a Generation Z, we hear about school shootings all the time because of the media and the increasing amount of these incidents. Many people blame the media on the increase of school shootings for attention purposes, but in the Secret Service’s research, many school shooters had signs of stressful behaviors before the attack. Seeing these signs shows that most shooters are not looking for attention on media platforms. 

One of the main ways to prevent school shootings is to report if something seems off about a person who is maybe being severely bullied by a student or even a teacher. I think if people in general were more observant and aware many of these horrendous incidents would stop. In edition, there should be more school training programs for officials and the students to notice the signs before they it is too late.