U.S. Secret Service Hopes to Prevent Targeted School Violence by Analyzing Averted Plots

The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) has been expanding their research of targeted violence prevention in communities across the country. In their efforts to demonstrate a path toward preventing school violence in particular, they analyzed 67 disrupted plots against K-12 schools from 2006-2018.

This report, titled Averting Targeted School Violence: A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Plots Against Schools, makes it clear that early intervention is imperative. In his opening message, Director James Murray emphasizes that “[i]ndividuals contemplating violence often exhibit observable behaviors, and when community members report these behaviors, the next tragedy can be averted.” The document reviews past disrupted plots, including school characteristics, motives, and planning, as well as factors related to the plotters themselves, such as disciplinary history, stressors, and concerning communications. NTAC hopes that key findings and implications from this report may be used as a guide for best practices towards a safe learning environment for all children.

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