How to Prevent School Shootings ?

Following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in 2018, psychology professor Paul Boxer and his colleagues analysed research to determine what lessons could be gleaned from the “science of violence prevention.” Boxer has examined that research – and other research undertaken since then – in the aftermath of the May 24, 2022, massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, for insights on what might be done to lessen the danger of school shootings in the future. Based on his results, he proposes five policy adjustments that can be adopted to attain that goal.


5 Ways to Prevent School Shootings

1. Significantly restrict gun ownership.

When my colleagues and I looked at gun legislation on a state-by-state basis, we discovered that stricter gun rules are linked to fewer gun-related homicides.

Even after accounting for demographic, economic, and educational characteristics, the relationship remained. Others have discovered a correlation between “permissive firearm regulations and increased rates of gun ownership” and an increase in school shootings.

Even after accounting for demographic, economic, and educational characteristics, the relationship remained. Others have discovered a correlation between “permissive firearm regulations and increased rates of gun ownership” and an increase in school shootings.

These and comparable policies, such as restricting access to those who are at high risk of committing violence, such as domestic violence perpetrators, all aim to make it significantly more difficult to obtain guns, hence reducing gun violence.

Putting real limitations or outright prohibitions on firearms with higher lethality, such as assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, could also reduce the number of individuals murdered by firearms. Greater gun access has already been linked to a larger number of gun deaths, according to research.

2. Increase the number of school-based violence risk assessments.

Researchers and federal law enforcement organisations have examined school shootings and produced risk assessments to determine the likelihood of actual violence by a young person identified as a potential danger in the years following the Columbine shooting in 1999.

These assessments are conducted by professionals that include police officers, school officials and teachers. They also involve mental health professionals, such as school counselors and psychologists. Together, these professionals all consult with one another to determine a young person’s risk for violence.

These teams may not be able to prevent every possible incident. Still, this sort of approach is critical to improving the process of identifying and stopping potential shooters overall. Guidance on how to use these assessments is freely available and based in extensive applied research.

For example, in one 2015 study, the Virginia Student Threat Assessment Guidelines – a set of guidelines for the investigation of a reported threat, thorough assessment of the individual making the threat, and preventive or protective measures to be taken in response – were shown to reduce rates of student aggression. They were also shown to lower out-of-school suspension rates while improving teacher and student perceptions of safety.

3. Increase the use of evidence-based measures for reducing violent behaviour.

For Preventing School Shootings Government agencies might expand the availability and use of evidence-based interventions in schools to assist reduce the number of teenagers who grow up to become violent.

Aggressive and violent behavior has been shown by research to emerge from a mix of personal and environmental risk factors. The factors include impulsivity, callousness, exposure to violence and victimization.

In light of this research, effective approaches were developed to prevent aggression by teaching students to problem-solve for better responses to peer conflict. They also teach students to think carefully about others’ motivations when they feel provoked.

Programs shown to reduce aggressive behavior typically train youths who already have exhibited some aggression on new and better coping skills for managing stress and anger.

And for youths who have become seriously violent, treatments teach new, constructive behavioral and communication skills to youths and their caregivers. The treatments also help young people develop better relationships with family members and school personnel.

4. Improve the security of school buildings

The Robb Elementary School shooter allegedly entered the facility through a malfunctioning door. This emphasises how critical it is for schools to implement and maintain physical security measures.

In the aftermath of school shootings, schools frequently resort to measures such as enhanced law enforcement or upgraded camera surveillance.

These measures can have contradictory effects on students’ perceptions of safety and support: cameras placed outside appear to boost feelings of safety, while cameras placed inside appear to increase feelings of discomfort.

Teachers may feel safer in the classroom if there is a greater presence of law enforcement. However, it may penalise student misconduct without making schools any safer.

Even yet, there are a variety of approaches for schools to strengthen physical security without adding to student concern or employing law enforcement unnecessarily.

For example, when metal detectors were employed at school entry points, pupils were less likely to miss school due to safety concerns, according to one big study. Metal detectors were also found to lower the risk of weapons being introduced into schools in that study.

5. Reduce media and social media exposure to violence.

Violent images of physical assaults, gun violence, and gore abound in the entertainment and social media. Virtual violence exposure and engagement may not result in aggressive behaviour in all children and adolescents.

However, viewing violent television shows and playing violent video games can lead to a rise in animosity, aggressive feelings, emotional desensitisation to violence, and eventually aggressive behaviour. Reduce the quantity of screen violence to which children and adolescents are exposed over time, especially early in development, to potentially mitigate these impacts.

Do you think that arming teachers is a good idea?

Miguel Cardona Said that “And the solution of arming teachers, in my opinion, is further disrespect to a profession that’s already beleaguered and not feeling the support of so many folks”

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