Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Crime Prevention Council Offers Tips

 Tragedy struck an Ohio High School, where school violence leaves three students wounded and two deceased.  Early accounts of the incident report that some students say the gunman, a student himself, allegedly tweeted he would bring a gun to school, but no one took the threat seriously. 

This type of behavior demonstrates a warning that the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) says is a sign of potential trouble ahead.  NCPC, best known for its icon McGruff the Crime Dog, offers several helpful tips about recognizing the potential warning signs of school violence.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the young victims, their families, and the Chardon High School community,” said Michelle Boykins, Communications Director for NCPC.  “We are saddened by this situation but recognize the need to emphasize the warning signs of school violence in the hopes it can prevent future school violence situations.”

Seven warning signs for potential school violence include:

·         Threats to bring a weapon to school

·         Talk about retaliation or a copycat crime

·         Overhearing or seeing a “hit list” at school or online

·         Troubling essays or other disturbing writing

·         Sudden changes in a student’s behavior or mood swings

·         Students with difficulty controlling or handling conflict

·         Students experience bullying or other means of peer isolation

·         Mention of an upcoming anniversary date of a past shooting

·         Glorification of another school shooter or criminal
NCPC encourages students to come forward immediately if they know of a student who exhibits any of these warning signs, and allow authorities the opportunity to investigate it.  The popular adage, “It is better to be safe than sorry,” is important to remember. 

For more information on tips and strategies to prevent school violence, visit www.ncpc.org/schoolsafety.

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