The majority of high school students in the United States will graduate without ever being exposed to peer violence. Nevertheless, recent school attacks carried out by students have shaken the image of schools as reliably safe and secure environments concerning educators, parents and students. Incidents of school violence occurred in 37 communities across the country between 1974 and June 2000.( National School Safety and Security Services) Compared to other types of violence and crime children face both in and outside of school, school-based attacks are far and few between However, highly publicized school shootings have created uncertainty about the safety and security of this country’s schools and generated fear that an attack may occur in any school, in any community.
A threat assessment is an approach to addressing the problem of violence in is schools. It should be looked upon as one part in an overall plan to reduce school violence. The main point of the assessment should be to create cultures and climates of safety, respect, and emotional support for everyone in our schools. ( Threat Assessment Guide)
Although no one wants to believe that this country’s schools are anything other than safe and positive places that support learning, it is important for those in positions of responsibility to take “a step back” and get a better look on the emotional climate of their schools. This perspective can be achieved by surveying students, faculty, parents, administrators, school board members, and representatives of community groups who work closely with the school ( Threat Assessment Perspective) It is essential that school administrators, parents, and community leads do not assume that they know the school climates like those individuals (especially students) who are most directly affected but the educational experience on a daily basis. Without a thorough assessment of climate process, school officials and leaders may never have the...