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Targeted Violence Targeted Violence

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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. One 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.

Some school districts may decide to use school-based law enforcement, including school resource officers (SROs) and other security personnel, to help prevent or mitigate school violence. Implementing an SRO program is a local decision that should be made with significant community input, and school districts should consider the range of options available that best fit their needs. SROs have a unique role in school safety, with a primary focus on prevention and proactive engagement in their community of students and school staff.

Local communities should consider funding, training, and proper staffing as part of the SRO program evaluation. Schools with SRO programs are encouraged to implement high-quality practices in the training and use of SROs in schools. Ensuring SROs carry out their responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner helps students feel safe at school.

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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.

Guidance
Targeted Violence
Guiding Principles for School Resource Officer Programs

Department of Justice, 2022

This guide provides a set of guiding principles and considerations related to school resource officer (SRO) programs implementation and school-based policing. The principles in this document are offered as a guide to those jurisdictions that have opted to implement an SRO program to ensure that the presence of law enforcement in schools is as beneficial as possible and to avoid harmful impacts on students and the learning environment.
Guidance
Threat Assessment and Reporting
Social Media Threat Guidance for School Staff and Authorities

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, 2023

This infographic highlights social media threats affecting school districts in the United States, provides mitigation and response measures for social media threats directed at school districts, and connects school safety stakeholders to a suite of tools and resources available to promote a culture of readiness and preparedness.
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