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Safety Solutions

Get Real! Understanding School Bomb Threat

Posted by John Baker on Aug 2, 2016 10:26:06 AM

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Part One:  Fact vs. Fiction

Today U.S. schools experience a significant number of bomb threats each year. The simple fact is these threats are just that…threats generally made by misguided adolescence who have no intent and often no means to carry out their threat.  They simply want to cause havoc and interrupt the normal school day.

And boy have they ever figured out how to interrupt the day.

More than ever our schools are taking extreme action in response to these low level bomb threats.  Tragically, many of these extreme protocols are not how school administrators  would intuitively respond to the threat; rather these exaggerated protocols are in direct response to the concern about negative feedback administrators will receive from both the media and hyper-protective parents and communities.  That is real stuff.  And it is factor in how schools respond. But it shouldn’t be the dominate factor.  

All the data shows that evil does not call ahead. It just shows up.  Recent research conducted by  Dr. Fred Calhoun and Steve Weston identified two types of people associated with bombs; Howlers and Hunters.  Calhoun and Weston suggest that we shouldn’t be significantly worried about Howlers; they simple make noise and want attention.  It is the hunters we need to fear.  You don’t hear from them; they just show up and start killing.  In preparation for this blog series I have been unable to locate any record of an actual school bombing in a U.S. school initiated by a student (with the exception of explosive devices used in conjunction during a mass shooting incident).   Yet, when we find a mid-day threat scratched on notebook paper and left in a classroom we act as though the bombing is imminent.  This is a response based on fiction not fact. There is virtually no historical pattern to support such a radical response.  This pattern of overreaction needs to be evaluated.  We need to think about a more proportionate response and what we are modeling for our children in how we respond. 

This is John Baker for safetysolutions4schools.com . We would love to hear from you regarding this blog series as we explore school safety.  We would enjoy hearing from you on how your school responds to bomb threats and what changes you may consider making in the future. 


Topics: School Safety

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We offer a wide range of services ranging from All Hazards Plan design to general safety and security consulting to an ever-growing of variety of training in key areas for your staff.   

- See more at: http://www.iu13.org/administrators/administrative-and-management-services/hr/safety/#sthash.ibVUiczC.dpuf

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