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Physical Security Information about Physical Security School Security Personnel Information about School Security Personnel Violence Prevention Information about Violence Prevention

Prevent and mitigate targeted violence incidents.

Targeted violence refers to violence that is premeditated and directed at specific individuals, groups, or locations. Perpetrators select their targets to achieve specific motives, such as the resolution of a grievance or to make a political or ideological statement. Targeted violence is distinct from violence that is impulsive, random, or spontaneous and is often distinguished by pre-attack behaviors that suggest violence as a possible outcome. Those behaviors, if identified and addressed, can reduce the likelihood of a targeted violence incident at your school. The best practice for preventing targeted school violence is through the use of a multidisciplinary school threat assessment team, comprised of school staff tasked to identify, assess, and intervene with students who may pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.

Schools can work to prepare for potential acts of targeted violence by improving their campuses’ physical security and involving school personnel who are trained to prevent, recognize, and respond to threats of violence, as well as implementing other violence prevention strategies. Physical security measures can mitigate threats and reduce the amount of harm inflicted if incidents occur. Conducting a site assessment and developing building security plans can identify existing vulnerabilities and enhance overall school security.

Law enforcement, school resource officers (SRO), or security personnel can be invaluable resources to a school’s safety team because of their specialized knowledge in recognizing building security concerns and mitigating violent situations. SROs, who are typically sworn law enforcement officers, and school safety officers (SSO), who are typically non-sworn school security staff, have been trained to act as a first line of defense and respond to acts of violence. Their presence in schools allows them to build relationships with students that can prevent or mitigate school violence.

Use the filter below to sort resources available based upon stages of preparedness and subtopic.

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All Targeted Violence Resources

The federal government identified additional resources that highlight strategies for school safety. Use these resources to learn more about targeted violence.

Targeted Violence
The Design of Safe, Secure and Welcoming Learning Environments, 2019 Report

Third Party, 2019

On October 19, 2018, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) summit brought together architects, policymakers, students, educators, school administrators, law enforcement and building code officials, mental health experts, and others to examine violence in schools and explore ways to holistically improve safety and security in our school communities.

Targeted Violence
TRIPwire- IED Incident Information-Sharing Portal

Department of Homeland Security

The Technical Resource for Incident Prevention (TRIPwire) is the Department of Homeland Security’s 24/7 online, collaborative information-sharing and resource portal for bomb squads, emergency responders, military personnel, government officials, intelligence analysts, private sector security professionals, and critical infrastructure owners and operators.

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