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Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States

NCJ Number
Bryan Vossekuil; Robert A. Fein Ph.D.; Marisa Reddy Ph.D.; Randy Borum Psy.D; William Modzeleski
Date Published
May 2002
63 pages
This document is the Final Report of the United States Department of Education and United States Secret Service Safe School Initiative.
The Safe School Initiative (the Initiative) is a cooperative effort between the United States Department of Education and the United States Secret Service which was begun in response to the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. The Initiative studied 37 targeted school shootings which were carried out between 1974 and 2000 in order to identify a profile of pre-attack behaviors and prevention strategies. The report is presented in five chapters: 1) a discussion of the scope and methodology of the Initiative; 2) a discussion of target and victim characteristics; 3) Initiative findings; 4) the implications of those finding for the prevention of future attacks; and 5) threat assessment and prevention strategy. Findings were categorized into five major areas; characterizing the attacker, conceptualizing the attack, signaling the attack, advancing the attack and resolving that attack. The authors found that most attacks were designed to harm a specific, pre-selected target but that the data did not suggest that there was an accurate attacker profile. 31 notes, 3 appendices