BLIP ON THE RADAR: SCHOOL SAFETY SYNERGY THROUGH EARLY WARNING AND INFORMATION SHARING
Dias, Bruno S.
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The traditional response to school violence by legislators and school districts has been mostly reactive. Scholars and existing research in the field of school safety and security recommend a critical safety and security initiative that is proactive and works to prevent violence by identifying concerns early on through behavioral threat assessment practices. This thesis applied a multi-step qualitative and comparative policy analysis framework that evaluated existing opportunities to increase the safety and security posture of schools. This study evaluated strengths and weaknesses in school safety and security by drawing lessons from past incidents of school violence in the United States, assembling contributing factors to inaction, comparing another country’s holistic approach to targeted violence, and evaluating gaps in existing school safety legislation. This thesis used scholarly research to make school safety and security recommendations at the federal, state, and local levels—for legislators, public safety professionals, school district leadership, and particularly, school safety and security professionals in Texas. This thesis found that for behavioral threat assessment and management to be an effective violence prevention strategy, school officials and legislators ought to develop programs and implement training and measurement tools that focus on efficacy rather than compliance or broad measures that consequentially affect children who do not pose a threat.
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