Preventing School Shootings

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

US Secret Service, National Threat Assessment Center


We Can Prevent School Shootings

School is back in session, and we must talk about an uncomfortable topic but one we all need to be vigilant about, gun violence, and how to improve the safety of our students, teachers, and communities. There is a lot we can do to prevent it. The United States Secret Service has been studying violence in schools for over 20 years and has identified behavioral markers that most attackers have which include: having severe emotional distress for a long period of time, making threats or sharing fantasies about harming others for instance on social media or by drawing pictures, and having an intent or expectation to die. Most often there are people in their network who are aware of the attacker’s troubles and disturbing comments. When people don’t intervene, others lose their lives. Children and parents can save lives when they quickly share this information with the school, another trusted adult, or law enforcement. If you see something, say something. It’s that simple.

On August 24, 2023, from 12:00 to 3:00, the US Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center is offering a free training for parents, teachers, administrators, law enforcement, and mental health professionals. I invite you all to attend. Social scientists will be sharing their key findings from decades of research both about identifying attackers and how to avert attacks.

U.S. Secret Service Logo

Free Virtual School Safety Training

In anticipation of the Fall 2023 return to school, the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) invites you to attend a virtual school safety training on August 24, 2023. In this training, NTAC’s social scientists will share key findings and implications from decades of research on school violence. Topics will include the background, thinking, and behavior of school attackers, how some schools discovered and stopped plots before violence occurred, and guidance on implementing school safety protocols to reduce the risk of violence in our school communities. This free virtual event is appropriate for educators, administrators, counselors, mental health professionals, law enforcement officers, and other school safety stakeholders.

Event Date:  August 24, 2023

Event Time:  12:00 – 3:00 PM EST

A link to a Microsoft Teams event will be e-mailed to registrants prior to the event.

Register Here!

Please share this invitation widely to others who might be interested in attending this event!

Dr. D’Arienzo, Psychologist of Instagram, shares important facts about preventing gun violence at schools.  Find out what we know about violent attackers and what we can do to make a difference to save lives.


The 16-minute secret service video above provides a brief overview of the Secret Service research, key findings, and their statement that school shootings are preventable.