All schools are subject to school violence resulting in injury or death. Such a threat can be introduced to a school in only one of two ways – externally or internally. External threats come from outside the school. Internal threats come from inside the school. External threats emerge. Internal threats evolve. Either one can develop from a potential threat into an active threat. These three – external emerging threat, internal evolving threat, and active threat comprise the three points of a school safety triangle.
From 1999-2019, more than 600 incidents of death or injury, resulted from external threats: a person or persons—not students, faculty, or staff— from outside the school. Examples of an emerging external threat include terrorists, extremists, human traffickers, criminals, opportunists, psychologically unstable persons, and the like.
To address an emerging external threat, faculty and staff must apply professionally trained skills, such as recognizing potential threat indicators and identifying preoperational surveillance. They must be able to spot anomalies, read baselines, and be well versed in other such proactive measures all of which is referred to by this program as “Shield One.” Failing to stop an external threat as it emerges, and develops into an active threat, forces reliance on school security to stop physical violence.
From 1999–2019, more than 450 incidents of death or injury, were a result of an internal threat: a person or persons, faculty, staff, or students, originating from inside the school. Faculty and staff can turn bad. However, in most cases, such as Columbine, Umpqua College, Parkland and others, students have developed into active threats over time.
An evolving internal threat may occur anywhere between a matter of weeks to the student’s duration in the school system, based on matriculation.
To address an evolving internal threat, faculty and staff must apply professionally trained skills, such as recognizing potential threat or violence indicators and identifying and addressing observable concerning behavior. They must be able to utilize caretaker continuity, reporting mechanisms, a behavioral assessment team and be well versed in other such proactive measures all of which are referred to by this program as “Shield Two.” Failing to stop an internal threat as it evolves, and develops into an active threat, forces reliance on school security to stop physical violence.
Threat Assessment Thresholds
In addition to Shield One and Shield Two, your school has existing school security which is referred to by this program as “Shield Three.” All three shields combined, work to prevent and mitigate school violence beginning at the lowest intervention threshold.
This program employs a proprietary three-by-three school safety matrix (three shields applied at three assessment thresholds) to facilitate sustainable school violence intervention.
Following exhaustive studies and research, federal school safety stakeholders have identified and reported rectifiable gaps in school safety located below the threat assessment threshold.
By replacing these gaps in your school safety with recommended best practices and integrating them with your existing school security, the 3Shields School Safety Education program trains your faculty and staff to facilitate sustainable school violence intervention at the lowest assessment threshold. This program is delivered via an industry standard online learning management system (LMS) that can be run 24/7 on common digital platforms such as desk/ laptop computers, iPads and smart phones.
Successful program completion results in two certifications: A Certificate of Completion issued to all trained faculty and staff (which in participating states qualifies for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or per-state equivalent).
Provided that 100% of your faculty and staff pass with a score of 80% or better, your school is then issued a statement of recognition that your faculty and staff have been trained in the implementation of recommended best practices toward the prevention of school violence.