Secret Service releases ‘operational guide’ for schools on student violence

 Secret Service releases ‘operational guide’ for schools on student violence
© Getty Images

The Secret Service on Thursday released an “operational guide” of recommendations to schools for combatting student violence.

The guide, released in the wake of multiple mass school shootings in the U.S. this year, focuses on identifying individual students who exhibit concerning behaviors.

“The tragic events of the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and the May 18, 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, demonstrated the ongoing need to provide leadership in preventing future school attacks,” the Secret Service report reads.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As such, the U.S. Secret Service, along with many of our partners, have redoubled our efforts and are poised to continue enhancing school safety.”

The Secret Service guide recommends that schools put together a threat assessment reporting process that enables authorities to intervene before a student commits a violent act.

According to the guidelines, schools should assemble threat assessment teams comprised of school administrators who are educated about the warning signs that indicate possible violence, including students who issue threats or bring weapons on campus.

Then, when students observe suspicious behavior, the guidelines state they should know how to report their concerns to the threat assessment team.

The guidelines recommend that “the threshold for intervention should be relatively low.”

"Gather information on stressors the student is experiencing, how the student is coping with them, and whether there are supportive friends or family who can help the student overcome them,” the report recommends.

Secret Service Director R. D. Alles told NBC that the guide will help schools that are searching for answers after the rash of school shootings this year.

"The report truly is an operational guide, and I am confident that if embraced and followed by our nation's communities and schools, we will together reduce the occurrence of violence and the tragic loss of life,” Alles said.