Document Type


Publication Date

January 2010


school violence


School shootings have generated great public concern and fostered a widespread impression that schools are unsafe for many students; this article counters those misapprehensions by examining empirical evidence of school and community violence trends and reviewing evidence on best practices for preventing school shootings. Many of the school safety and security measures deployed in response to school shootings have little research support, and strategies such as zero tolerance discipline and student profiling have been widely criticized as unsound practices. Threat assessment is identified as a promising strategy for violence prevention that merits further study. The article concludes with an overview of the need for schools to develop crisis response plans to prepare for and mitigate such rare events.