Secret Service Enhancing School Safety Using an Threat Assessment Model – An Operational Guide for Preventing Target School Violence

By Thomas B. Cross @techtionary

While it is not possible to copy relevant portions of the report I take issue with the portion of the report that says, “When establishing threat assessment capabilities within K-12 schools, keep in mind that there is no profile of a student attacker.  There have been male and female attackers, high-achieving students with good grades as well as poor performers.  These acts of violence were committed by students who were loners and socially isolated and those who were well-liked and popular.  Rather than focusing solely on a student’s (read as shooter) personality traits or school performance, we can learn much more about a student’s risk for violence by working through the threat assessment process, which is designed to gather the most relevant information about the student’s (read as shooter) communications and behaviors, the negative or stressful event the student has experienced, and the resources the student possesses to overcome those setbacks and challenges.”

Click on image for complete report and we do encourage you to read it there is a lot of great information and case studies.  Yet there is so much information it is hard to get your “arms around” all the issues raised and what you need as a parent or student is your own personal safety plan.

secret service

While the Secret Service does not think there is no profile, I have found in my research:

There is considerable research that suggests that shooters were harassed, bullied, cyberbullied, assaulted and worse for many years before they retaliated going on killing sprees.  Of all the research this might be the most dramatic and revealing as to options reduce this kind of violence.  “All of the perpetrators of retaliatory violence had previously asked for help from adults and failing to get it, made known their plans to retaliate.” (1, 2) The saddest consequences of this retaliation are the innocent victims such as Claire Davis at Arapahoe High School. Many victims were sadly in the wrong place at the wrong time as the shooter was in a “blind rage” (3).  In other words, there is a great amount of time at play in these situations especially the school shootings that the assailant has been thinking of what they are going to do for even years giving rise to think that some kind of intervention is possible to reduce the occurrence. For example in the Maryland shopping mall, according to news reports, the police description of the journal entries, written sporadically over a one-year period by the shooter, provides some clues though not a complete explanation for what set off the shooting. (4)

We can only recommend you can DO something to protect yourself prior to a crisis. Get to know people who you think may fit the “profile” and see if you and others can help them, yes them.   During a crisis, you cannot stop a shooter and we do not recommend you charge or “rush” the shoot but you can use PeerSafe free iPhone app to start an siren alarm and let others know about the situation through SMS, Facebook, and Twitter.

Click on image for free app.



When you Tap 911 it calls 911 without having to dial number and when you Tap Start Alarm it sends the custom RED BELL message you added earlier to the Alarm message via SMS, Facebook, and Twitter including the time and Location.  This is faster and easier than anything else you can do.


When you are Safe, Tap Stop Alarm and it will send out the custom GREEN BELL message you added via SMS, Facebook and Twitter including the time and Location.


Read this to help you:

Top-10 Tips for Personal & Peer Safety in School, Campus and Public Settings


(1) Bullying from Both Sides by Walter B. Roberts, Jr. Corwin Press, 2006, page 34.

(2) Ibid, page 46.

(3) Ibid, page 47.

(4) Police: Md. Mall Gunman Wrote of Killing People

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