‘They’re not impulsive’ – officials receive training to help prevent school shootings

Posted: Updated:

A shooting at a southern California high school left at least two students dead and several more injured. Nearly 3,000 miles away, some New Jersey school officials and first responders were learning about ways to prevent such a shooting.

The alleged gunman in the California shooting is a 16-year-old boy, according to officials. The FBI says that his motive is currently unknown. But experts say that acts of violence such as this are preventable, typically people do not just snap one day.

“They’re preventable because they’re not impulsive,” says Marissa Randazzo, who spent 10 years as a chief psychologist for the Secret Service. “They plan these out. They tell other people what they’re going to do before they go to the point of doing harm.

Randazzo spent Thursday training a group of school officials, counselors and police officers on how to get a student off what she calls a “pathway to violence.”

RELATED: Student opens fire in California high school, killing 2 

She says that the first step is to reduce bullying. The Secret Service reports that many school shooters were bullied. Next, survey students to find out if the school is fair and safe emotionally. Teachers should also connect with the students, by doing something as simple as saying “hello” in the morning or asking how they are doing.

“Focusing on their behavior, stopping to talk to them and see what is going on; how their day is. Those can add up to really help,” Randazzo says.

The meeting was hosted by Morris County Sheriff James Gannon. The sheriff put into play an app for students known as RSVP-3. It allows them to report concerns anonymously.

“We know that 81% of the time there’s leakage in these cases, that the offender told someone about this,” Gannon says. “So why don’t we arm them with an app where they can send it and say, ‘This is really suspicious behavior. This concerns me.’”

Gannon says that the app is monitored 24 hours a day. He says that they have been getting about eight reports a month.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."