Maryland’s K-12 schools serve as a hub of educational, social, and emotional growth for our youth. They also support a wide range of community and extracurricular activities inside the school buildings and on school grounds. Resources relevant to assisting K-12 school administration and teachers in understanding how to prevent, prepare for, and respond to an active assailant incident are featured below. This list is not exhaustive, and the AAIWG does not endorse one particular response strategy. These resources serve as a starting point for strategic planning and evaluation of your individual school or school system’s needs.
The Maryland Community Policing Institute offers a host of resources to assist K-12 schools and communities with maintaining safe school environments, engaging in prevention & intervention with drug education, bullying, and targeted violence, as well as active assailant resources.
This organization was founded by parents who lost children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown CT. It is a national non-profit school safety advocacy and resource center that provides research-based tools and support for crisis prevention, response, and recovery.
The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services created a report which offers evidence that focusing attention and resources on prevention which can help attain the goal of zero school shootings. The report helps identify best practices and success stories and to share lessons as widely as possible.
The National Threat Assessment Center provides an unprecedented base of facts about school violence, as well as an updated methodology and practical guidelines for prevention. The approach of the guide is intended to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and implement intervention strategies to manage that risk.
Prevention & Planning
Official guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education. This site offers the guidelines created to assist local school systems and schools in developing new plans and in reviewing and updating existing plans. The planning process includes identifying and analyzing hazards in the school and community and taking measures to mitigate those hazards.
An overview of behavioral threat assessment practice in Maryland’s public schools, applicable to students, staff, and visitors to the school grounds.
This video created by the Sandy Hook Promise presents a scenario that creates thought provoking insight into signs of a possible active assailant in a school environment but can be as relevant in other locations. Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit organization formed in Newtown, CT, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The organization aims to stop gun violence and emphasizes knowing the signs that can lead to violence.
The Standard Response Protocol developed by the “I Love U Guys” Foundation is action-based, flexible, and easy to learn. The 2021 update to the SRP includes organized tactics for responding to threats to student safety, with the goal being that everyone is on the same page as to how to respond. Its development is ever-evolving, created with extensive collaboration between experts such as first responders, school districts, and families. Its tactics are data-driven, researched, and based on experience and best practices.
This site is the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools’ Technical Assistance Center. It contains several sections on school Emergency Operations Plans and what they should include to minimize loss of life as well as teach and train best practices.
A summary of a U.S. Department of Justice grant-funded research project on the implementation and outcomes of behavioral threat assessment teams and practices across multiple school systems in Virginia following the mandate for implementation in 2013, the efficacy of those programs on early intervention and prevention of harm to self or others, and recommendation on additional training and technical assistance to improve the behavioral threat assessment process.
This guide from the National Threat Assessment Center is an operational guide for preventing targeted school violence. The guide helps create a comprehensive targeted violence prevention plan for schools.
The Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)’s compendium provides links to relevant data on and analysis of gun violence in American primary and secondary schools from reputable sources.
The National Threat Assessment Center report examined 67 disrupted plots against K-12 schools from 2006-2018. The findings of the study suggest that individuals contemplating violence often exhibit observable behaviors, and when community members report behaviors, tragedies can be averted.
This video by the National Threat Assessment Center reviews the Averting Targeted School Violence report. The report examined 67 disrupted plots against K-12 schools from 2006-2018. The findings of the study suggest that individuals contemplating violence often exhibit observable behaviors, and when community members report behaviors, tragedies can be averted.
Training & Exercises
Training video and web-based training course created because life-threatening emergencies can happen fast, and emergency responders aren’t always nearby. These injuries can require immediate action to prevent an injured person from dying, so those nearest to someone are best positioned to provide first care.
One of the best ways to increase a person’s likelihood of survival when severely injured during active assailant incident is to quickly stop severe bleeding. Coworkers can provide initial life-saving measures. The Stop the Bleed® site provides resources on how to organize an in-person training, life-saving strategies and posters, instructional videos, and aid kits to place in common areas.
Survivor & Victim Assistance
This newsletter from the Los Angeles Unified School District Student Health and Human Services discusses psychological first aid (PFA). PFA is an evidence-informed approach for assisting children, adolescents, adults, and families in the immediate aftermath of a critical incident, disaster, or terrorism. PFA is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short and long-term adaptive functioning.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) created a number of resources on mass violence including “Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After the Recent Shooting,” “College Students: Coping After the Recent Shooting” and “Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event.”
The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) compiled a list of websites and free resources to help support youth, families, schools, and communities impacted by violence.
The Maryland Department of Health compiled a resource guide which provides tips and resources for those impacted by violence, including youth, parents and caregivers, teachers and behavioral health professionals.