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US Secret Service Releases Updated Guide for Preventing School Shootings

In the wake of shootings, the U.S. Secret Service released on Thursday updated guidelines on preventing school violence.

In the wake of shootings, the U.S. Secret Service released on Thursday updated guidelines on preventing school violence.

The Secret Service first began studying forms of “targeted violence” in schools in the aftermath of Colorado’s Columbine High School shooting in 1999, when two teenage gunmen killed 13 people. But Secret Service Director R.D. Alles said it was the Stoneman Douglas shooting that prompted further research.

The February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida saw 17 killed with 17 more wounded.

“The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting tragedy served as the impetus to go beyond our past work and go in depth regarding the how – how do we solve this epidemic?” said Alles. “The report truly is an operational guide, and I am confident that if embraced and followed by our Nation’s communities and schools, that we will together reduce the occurrence of violence and the tragic loss of life.”

Stoneman Douglas is just one of 23 school shootings so far in 2018, but the one that has received the most national attention thanks to outspoken survivors and nationwide organized protests.

The new 32-page guide is meant to be a “framework to identify students of concern,” according to the press release. It outlines eight steps for early intervention of potential school shooters which include defining “concerning or prohibited behaviors” and creating a “central reporting mechanism.”

Concerning behaviors can include “threatening or engaging in violence, bringing a weapon to school, bullying or harassing others, and other concerning or criminal behaviors,” said the guide.

The Secret Service emphasized how no one entity can be tasked with preventing school shootings, but rather it is a collective effort.

“Keeping our children safe requires the shared commitment from states, school boards, and communities,” said Alles.

It was also announced in the press release that the Secret Service would be updating the Safe School Initiative, or SSI, the study on the causes of school violence done following of the Columbine shooting.

“Work is currently underway to release an updated comprehensive study with an anticipated completion date in the spring of 2019,” said the press release.

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