Terrorist Attacks in Israel Involve School Buses

Could U.S. school buses be next?

Last week’s missile attack on a school bus in Israel demonstrates how terrorists around the world periodically attack hard to protect schools buses.  One of the first terrorist attack in Israel that I can recall was a 1968 attack using a landmine to attack the bus.  This attack, which left two Israeli children dead and another 28 injured caused immediate fear.   Another attack in 1970 by Palestinian terrorists left nine children dead and another 19 disabled for life.   When I went to Israel for training in antiterrorism through the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange Program (GILEE) I learned that the State of Israel has dedicated immense time, thought and resources to this problem.

We observed police officers with rifles escorting school children on field trips because of the previous attacks on innocent children riding buses during field trips.  This tactic along with armoring buses used in the territories to make them resistant to attacks with firearms and lower powered explosive devises proved to be largely successful.  Two soldiers where killed when they blocked a bomber who was trying to attack a bus but they were successful in protecting the students under their care.   It is sad that any nation would be forced to implement such measures to protect innocent children.

Like Israel, most other countries do not use school buses in the manner we do in the United States and Canada.  For example, a commuter bus may be targeted at a time of day when there are many K-12 or university students riding to or from campus.  Though we have fortunately thus far been spared the tragedy of a terrorist attack on school buses in the United States, there have been a number of attacks in other countries.  The very mobility and manner of utilization of the school bus make them hard to protect.  As this recent attack demonstrates, there are ruthless individuals who will not hesitate to attempt to harm innocent children and those who are dedicated.  The refusal of the people of Israel to allow their schools or school buses to be shut down by ruthless fanatics is a testament to their character. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the children and staff who were riding this bus as well as to their families.

About the Author

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Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a global non profit campus safety center. During his 30 year campus safety career, Michael has served as a university police officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant. He served as a school system police chief for ten years before being appointed the lead expert for the nation's largest state government K-20 school safety center. The author of 25 books on school safety, his work has taken him to Central America, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Michael welcomes comments, questions or requests for clarification at mike@weakfish.org. Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

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