Behavior Pattern Recognition

To Prevent School Violence

Half-Day (4 Hour) & 2 Day Sessions Available

“In 93% of active shooter incidents the attacker displayed observable behavioral precursors that were noticed before the attacks.”

Behavior Pattern Recognition To Prevent School Violence

In 2002 as a result of the Columbine High School massacre, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education released the Safe Schools Initiative report that studied numerous school active shooter incidents from 1974- 2000.

This report did not establish a profile of a typical school shooter but identified that in 93% of active shooter incidents the attacker displayed observable behavioral precursors that were noticed before the attacks.

Profiling is the use of specific characteristics related to race, age or gender to make generalizations about a person. Not only is profiling illegal, it is ineffective for predicting criminal behavior. Instead, an effective approach in regard to criminals, terrorists and school attackers is examining behavior patterns and precursors commonly present prior to an attack. 

The Safe Schools Initiative reported that 81% of school attackers tell someone else about the attack prior to it taking place. Because of this reality, an emphasis on developing anonymous reporting and investigation protocols of these threats is also covered. Not only will we examine the behavioral patterns, we also explore some of the causal factors that lead to violence so that we can prevent these attacks.

Who Should Attend?
All school certified and classified staff, Administrators, School Crisis Safety Team Members, DARE Officers, SRO’s


Most preparedness and training that takes place for schools is for the “RESPONSE” phase of the active threat crisis. Although preparedness for this phase is very important there are few schools that are educating staff on what behavior to look for that could be indication of increased risk of violence. Very rarely are these active threat events sudden or impulsive in nature. With the benefit of hindsight in almost all of these attacks it is learned that there were several or many opportunities to recognize, report and mitigate or prevent the attack from ever occurring.

Almost all acts of violence are preceded with bad behavior, body language and clues.

Additionally this 4 hr. course will look at 16 behavioral and psychological indicators of persons that could be at increased risk of committing violence.

Who should attend?
School Resource Officers, School Administrators, School Crisis Safety Team Members, School Counselors, School Board Members, Teachers, Law Enforcement First Responders, Supervisors and Leadership

This course does not focus on establishing a profile, but on identifying behavioral patterns that can be recognized in advance as well as other risk factors that contribute to violent acts.  Recognizing behavioral precursors is only part of the equation. In addition, we discuss approaching, interviewing and de-escalation strategies. A smaller portion of the course provides an overview of intruder response tactics.


Topics Covered
•  Behavior vs. Profiling – Why Profiling Doesn’t Work
•  School Active Shooter Incidents – Evolution of School Attackers, Law Enforcement and School Personnel Response
•  Mental Health Correlation to School Attacks
•  Violence in Movies and Video Games and the Correlation to the School Shooter
•  Review of the 2002 Safe Schools Initiative Study & 2008 SSI – Bystanders Study reports by the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Education
•  Operation Environment Analysis and
•  Observing and Eliciting Behavior
•  Body Language Indicators of People Carrying Concealed Weapons
•  Approaches, Interviews and Impressions ofStudent Voluntary Encounters
•  Access Control and Credential Management
•  Incorporation of a De-escalation Philosophy
•  Targeted Conversations
•  Lockdown and Lockdown Failure Protocols
•  What to expect from Law Enforcement Response to School Shooters
•  Medical Response to the School Attack
•  Suspicious Object Response (SOR)
•  Preparation and Communication – Educating Parents and The Community on their Roles
•  How to conduct an “objective” Behavior Risk Assessment