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2020 Return to School

The focus of school administrators as well as parents for the 2020/2021 school year is developing the safest way to transition students back to the classrooms. Social distancing, masks and cleaning procedures will be top of mind as the first day of school approaches.

Students in 2020 have seen how a pandemic can have devastating impacts on lives, economies and schools. As a result of Covid-19, schools closed, academic terms were truncated, routines were broken and anxiety permeated student’s homes and social lives.

Schools have weighed physical health and safety measures as part of the Covid-19 reentry plan but should not discount the student’s state of mind. The 2019 report on Targeted School Violence that was released by the United States Secret Service states that a large percentage of school violence occurs post break. The return from a summer vacation or holiday break is a key time when school shootings have occurred. Now take in to consideration that the students have been out of the classroom since March 2020. The separation from friends, removal of social activities such as sports and after school programs, a non-existent routine and a massive increase in domestic problems will contribute to a higher number of at risk students.

School leadership along with law enforcement and security professionals will need to play a pivotal role in getting at risk students the help they need prior to an incident occurring. Districts should set aside 45 minutes with staff in the beginning of the year to review the warning signs that could prevent a violent event from occurring in the schools.

Here are ten of the warning signs to look out for;

1. Threats to the target or others, and/or intent to attack

2. Intense or escalating anger

3. Interest in weapons

4. Sadness, depression, or isolation

5. Changes in behavior or appearance

6. Talk of suicide and/or self-harm

7. Interest in violence

8. Talk of being bullied

9. Concerns over grades/attendance

10. Harassing others

There are many more signs to recognize along with the ten above. Schools should implement quarterly training on what to look for. Lastly, make sure if you see something, you

say something.

Black Ops Tactical Consulting is a full service consulting firm. BOTC performs safety and security risk assessments along with a full portfolio of other services. Please reach out to us if your school or business is in need of assistance.

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