All Top 10 Articles from April Have One Thing in Common: Acts of Violence

The topic Campus Safety readers showed most interest in this month was acts of violence, which doesn’t come as a surprise since data shows violence is increasing in schools and hospitals.

All Top 10 Articles from April Have One Thing in Common: Acts of Violence

(Photo: elena_garder, Adobe Stock)

We’ve been doing top stories of the month for some time now, and as far back as I can remember, this is the first time all of the 10 most read Campus Safety articles have been about the same topic: acts of violence.

Everyone currently involved in campus safety and security, whether in a K-12 district, college/university, or hospital, is well aware of the significant uptick in violence since the pandemic.

In 2020, guns became the leading cause of death for people ages 1-19, surpassing car-related deaths for the first time, according to a newly published research letter. Another new study found threats and physical attacks on school staff have increased during the pandemic. More than two in five school administrators reported verbal or threatening violence from parents during the pandemic. Paraprofessionals, school counselors, instructional aides, and school resource officers (SROs) reported the highest rates of student physical violence (22%).  

In December, a report from the Education Department found an increase in student bullying, hate crimes, and violence. In recent months, hate crimes have increased significantly on college campuses, particularly at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), prompting the Department of Homeland Security to issue a February bulletin warning these threats could inspire extremists to mobilize to violence.

In 2020, hospital assaults hit an all-time high, an IAHSS survey found. From 2019 to 2020, the assault rate at U.S. hospitals increased by more than 23% from 10.9 incidents per 100 beds to 14.2.

The perpetrators of violence in April’s top 10 articles run the gamut, from students and teachers to parents and total strangers, emphasizing the need to prepare for the potential of violence from all types of people. Although targeted violence or random acts of violence are statistically uncommon, we can’t hope it won’t happen in our neighborhoods or at our children’s schools.

One effective way to prepare for these types of incidents, in addition to other more common incidents, like threats of suicide, is through tabletop exercises. If you’re looking to conduct tabletop exercises for your campus but aren’t sure where to start, Guy Bliesner, an analyst for the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security (IOSSS), has provided Campus Safety with several incidents that actually happened at Idaho schools in the last five years and how administrators responded. Here’s the link to the latest installment, which also includes links to all previous installments.  

All three of this summer’s Campus Safety Conferences will also feature a session on scenario training and tabletop exercises, led by Paul Timm. During this session, Timm will separate the audience into groups and conduct a brief exercise where attendees will have to make decisions on how they would react to an emergency scenario.

Campus Safety also recently hosted a webinar which was led by Stephen Lopez, emergency manager for the Doña Ana County Office of Emergency Management. Stephen discussed how to recognize possible targeted violence danger signs, things you can do when implementing a protection plan, what you can do to help guide a potential victim of targeted violence to reduce exposure, steps leaders might need to take to help resolve the incident, and more. You can check it out on-demand.

The webinar’s landing page made it into this month’s top stories, showing school and hospital leaders are taking necessary steps to protect their students, staff, patients, and visitors.

About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family.

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