Experts say we can prevent school shootings. Here’s what the research says

In 2018, a Gallup poll additionally discovered that the majority academics don’t need to carry weapons at school, and overwhelmingly favor gun management measures over safety steps meant to “harden” faculties. When requested which particular measures could be “best” at stopping college shootings, 57% of academics favored common background checks, and the identical quantity, 57%, additionally favored banning the sale of semiautomatic weapons such because the one used within the Parkland assault.

Increase age limits for gun possession

Faculty security researchers help tightening age limits for gun possession, from 18 to 21. They are saying 18 years outdated is just too younger to have the ability to purchase a gun; the teenage mind is simply too impulsive. And so they level out that the college shooters in Parkland, Santa Fe, Newtown, Columbine and Uvalde have been all below 21.

Faculty security researchers also support universal background checks and banning assault-style weapons. However it’s not nearly how shooters legally purchase firearms. A 2019 report from the Secret Service discovered that in half the college shootings they studied, the gun used was both readily accessible at residence or not meaningfully secured.

After all, faculties haven’t got management over age limits and gun storage. However there’s lots they’ll nonetheless do.

Colleges can help the social and emotional wants of scholars

Numerous the dialog round making faculties safer has centered on hardening faculties by including cops and steel detectors. However consultants say faculties ought to really concentrate on softening to help the social and emotional needs of students.

“Our first preventative technique needs to be to verify children are revered, that they really feel linked and belong in faculties,” says Odis Johnson Jr., of Johns Hopkins College’s Middle for Protected and Wholesome Colleges.

Members of the community gather at the City of Uvalde Town Square for a prayer vigil in the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
Members of the group collect on the Metropolis of Uvalde City Sq. for a prayer vigil within the wake of a mass taking pictures at Robb Elementary Faculty. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Photographs)

Which means constructing children’ abilities round battle decision, stress administration and empathy for his or her fellow classmates – abilities that may assist scale back all types of undesirable behaviors, together with combating and bullying.

In its report, the Secret Service discovered a lot of the college attackers they studied had been bullied. And whereas we’re nonetheless studying about what occurred in Uvalde, early reports counsel the shooter there was an everyday goal of bullying.

Jackie Nowicki has led a number of college security investigations on the U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace. She and her group have recognized a few of issues faculties can do to make their school rooms and hallways really feel safer, together with “anti-bullying coaching for workers and academics, grownup supervision, issues like corridor screens, and mechanisms to anonymously report hostile behaviors.”

The Secret Service recommends faculties implement what they name a risk evaluation mannequin, the place skilled workers – together with an administrator, a faculty counselor or psychologist, in addition to a regulation enforcement consultant – work collectively to determine and help college students in disaster earlier than they harm others.

There’s cash to assist faculties pay for all this

One bit of excellent information: Due to pandemic federal assist, there’s been a giant soar in faculties’ willingness and talent to rent psychological well being help workers. In line with the White Home, with the assistance of federal COVID reduction cash, faculties have seen a 65% enhance in social staff, and a 17% enhance in counselors.

NPR’s Anya Kamenetz contributed to this story.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see extra, go to https://www.npr.org.

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